With "Now, Diabolical," Satyricon
have chosen to continue down the path that they started on with the "Volcano"
Album. This album includes its share of catchy rock inspired riffs, recalling
songs like Fuel for Hate and Repined Bastard Nation from "Volcano."
While the words "catchy" and "rock inspired" won't exactly
instill confidence in many metal fans, I can assure you that in the context
of this album it works. "Now, Diabolical" has a sinister malevolent
quality that defies easy description. While parts of this album are somewhat
reminiscent of rock music, the sum of the parts sounds like anything but.
The black metal is still here, along with what appears to be a doom metal
influence. Don't get me wrong, this album is by no means doom metal, but
I could see many of the riffs presented here being used in that context.
The vocals, as always are a cold blackened rasp, accented at times by short
passages of haunting clean vocals. The drums are what really hold this album
together. Frost lays down a strong foundation for the album and his drumming
serves and anchors, keeping the album grounded and helping it to maintain
focus. The drums are a bit higher than usual in the mix, but this adds a
thunderous rhythmic quality to the album that I feel is a crucial part of
the overall atmosphere. Satyricon's last two albums have been kind of hit
or miss to me, while I liked both albums I felt that they lack a certain
cohesiveness. With "Now, Diabolical," they have rediscovered that
cohesiveness and put out a great album. "Now, Diabolical" does
not unleash the same torrent of raw blistering black metal that Satyricon’s
early releases were know for, instead it stalks and lurks along, like a
menacing beast, waiting in the shadows for exactly the right moment to strike
before unleashing it’s wrath. While the most Tr00 and Grim of black
metal fans will probably not find this release appealing, open minds will
be rewarded with a great album that really has some staying power.
Reviewed By: Garett F.