Satyricon Satyricon

Hailing from Oslo, Norway (the same tumultuous black metal community that birthed both legendary bands and some of metal's most infamous criminals), Satyricon have steadily moved away from the raw, traditional black metal that once defined them. For the past several releases, they've moved towards more of a black'n'roll sound, and now on their eighth, self-titled full-length album, they veer even further away from their original sound, with doom and even folk elements woven in. Satyr's hissing, acidic vocals are the most black metal thing about this record, most of which unfolds at a mid-paced, gloomy plod. The production is minimal and the songwriting oddly sparse. There is a thin, wiry quality to the songs that gives "Natt" a tensile strength, but makes "The Infinity of Time and Space" drag. "Ageless Northern Spirit" is a rare return to former glory, and a standout track, but for the most part, Satyricon sounds like a wraith with too little power left in its shrivelled, undead form. (Nuclear Blast)