The legacy of Satyricon in the Norwegian black metal scene cannot be underestimated. The manner in which the band revolutionized black metal by incorporating industrial elements is often underrated — probably due to their controversial musical career. The band was formed in Oslo, Norway in 1991 and consists of Satyr and Frost, who remain the permanent members. The band has produced nine albums, although their first three albums are considered classics.
Their latter albums, which saw them incorporate gothic, industrial influences, have lost many of their original fans. The band released their debut studio album, Dark Medieval Times in 1994. In addition to Satyr and Frost, the band also featured another member named Lemarchand, the guitarist, although he remains uncredited in the album. The band’s second studio album was released in 1994, two years before the band released their most acclaimed album, Nemesis Devina, in 1996. The band’s latest album, Deep Calleth Upon Deep, was released in 2017, although the band’s influence in the black metal scene was already dwindling. This article looks at the ten best Satyricon songs.
10. Tied in Bronze Chains
The number ten track in our list of the top ten Satyricon songs is also the longest track from their 1999 album, Rebel Extravaganza. “Tied in Bronze Chains” is the first track from the album and it runs for about ten minutes and fifty six seconds. The track is an example of how well a modern outlook that incorporates an industrial influence can sound when done excellently. Although the song loses some edge due to its length, it still remains to be a classic Satyricon song.
There is no denying the fact that Satyricon’s debut studio album, Dark Medieval Times, is the masterpiece of black metal. Look, if you are an English speaker who doesn’t understand Norwegian, you will have to sit down and listen to the flow and delivery of this gem. In this track, Satyr’s creative prowess comes to the fore with chilling lines and intense shrieks, while Frost’s echoing drums will have you losing yourself as you listen to a great song.
8. To the Mountains
Satyricon’s 2006 album, Now Diabolical, is widely considered to be one of the most controversial albums since Metallica’s Black Album. “To the Mountains” is the eighth track on the album and the longest, running for over eight minutes. The track features some powerful riffs and menacing vocals from Satyr, which are part-snarled and part-spoken yet laced with poetic poison.
7. The Dawn of a New Age
Satyricon’s 1996 album, Nemesis Divina, was their magnum opus. At the heart of the album is the track “The Dawn of a New Age, ” a black metal classic. The track opens with immediate aggression, which is followed by a calm keyboard. The song’s opening line goes like, “This is Armageddon,” as Satyr continues with his revamped version of the Book of Revelations with background cries of “Die!” The bass in the song is brilliant, and Frost’s drumming takes you to another dimension as you listen to this masterpiece.
Many black metal fans argue that Nemesis Divina was Satyricon’s last great album. Although this is debatable, the album was quite a masterpiece. This four-and-a-half-minute track from the album was an indication of how the band had transformed with a stripped-down approach that set them apart from their peers. “Forhekset” features heavy grooves and incredible riffs that prove that Satyr and Frost were at their prime in this black metal menace.
The number five song on our list of the greatest Satyricon songs is the fifth track from the band’s 2002 album, Volcano. What I love most about this song is the heavy guitar and the insane riffs, which give the song a brutal sound.
Rebel Extravaganza is arguably Satyricon’s most underrated album. Most of the song had some icy and cynical lyrics, while the band experimented with an industrial element and a more rock n roll feeling in most tracks. “Filthgrinder,” the second track in the album, is a gem of a song that is worth the listen. The outright aggressive track features some disharmonic guitar hooks from Satyr while Frost pushes himself almost to the limit with incredible drumming. The track is a great listen, although it won’t feel as engaging as it is for a non-hardcore black metal fan.
3. The Infinity of Time and Space
Although not everyone appreciated Satyricon’s 2013 self-titled album, it showed how the band’s music had transformed lyrically and thematically. This was fully epitomized by the ninth track in the album. “The Infinity of Time and Space” was a track that shows us how the band reflects inwards rather than outwards, as we were used to in their previous releases. However, the track still retains the infectious riffs and impressive hooks, all of which we have come to associate Satyricon with.
“K.I.N.G” is definitely one of my all-time favorite black metal songs. Although the band has quite a diverse catalog of hits, their 2005 album, Now Diabolical, was magnificent. If you’d like to introduce one of your friends to this band, this is the song that might make them buy every other Satyricon album. In this catchy track, Satyricon embraces an aggressive hard rock sound that features some dark lyrics. This is fantastic and definitely one of Satyricon’s best songs ever.
1. Mother North
Although this track did not receive a great response at the beginning, it slowly became a sensational hit and is widely regarded as a classic black metal song. “Mother North” is the third track from the band’s 1996 album, Nemesis Divina, and is the best record on the album. The song features a haunting melody and drumming that has a continuous double bass. The music video for the song features some nudity and fire, which was something unique for a 1996 black metal video. The lyrics of the song are deep and quite sinister, making it one of the greatest Norwegian black metal songs.
Feature Photo: © Markus Felix | PushingPixels (contact me), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Updated November 8, 2023
Top 10 Satyricon Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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