Black Metal Reviews


“Nemesis Divina”
20th Anniversary Release
Original Release Date: 4/29/16
Moonfog Records
Reissue Release Date: 5/20/16
Napalm Records

1. The Dawn of a New Age
2. Forhekset
3. Mother North
4. Du som hater Gud
5. Immortality Passion
6. Nemesis Divina
7. Transcedental Requiem of Slaves

Being a huge fan of the iconic album “Nemesis Divina” I was incredibly pleased to not only find out that Satyricon was reissuing it for the 20th anniversary but that I would get the opportunity to review it as well. This being the third in a trio of releases between 1994 to 1996, the first two being “Dark Midieval Times” and “The Shadowthrone”, “Nemesis” was the stepping stone for Satyricon’s career and an essential part of black metal history. And it still holds its importance to this day. The 1996 recording was originally done by Satyr and Frost and also featured a new member, Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone. I have to mention that “Du som hater Gud” was also written by Fenriz of Darkthrone, just in case some out there didn’t know.
I got the chance to interview Frost about the 20th anniversary and how it felt to revisit the old material once more. From the sound of it he was more than happy to tap into that raw energy again, a very nostalgic moment for all of them.
You can hear that energy beginning with the war cry of “This is Armageddon!” on the opening track “The Dawn of the New age”. From there you are instantly cast into a pummeling of blastbeats and incredible guitar riffs. What I love about this album is the mix of chaos and beauty. Melody intertwined with darkness, Satyr sounds evil and possessed which gives perfect balance to the atmosphere. “Mother North” is another of why Satyricon are such excellent musicians. The urgent guitar work, melodic vocals and vibe that leaves feeling on the unnerved side. “Transcendental Requiem of Slaves” closes out with mournful beauty that leaves “Nemesis” sounding absolutely epic.
You can hear in the reissue that some of the songs have been tightened, they are a lot clearer but that raw power has not been left behind at all. For me it is very cool to hear this again after many years. Old fans will probably feel the same and for new fans, this is a great place to start. Enjoy!
-Katy Lestrange


Dark Funeral
“Where Shadows Forever Reign”
Century Media Records
Release Date: 06/03/16
Reviewed On: 5/15/16

1. Unchain My Soul
2 As One We Shall Conquer
3. Beast Above Man
4. As I Ascend
5. Temple of Ahriman
6. The Eternal Eclipse
7. To Carve Another Wound
8. Nail Them to the Cross
9. Where Shadows Forever Reign

When it comes to the the black metal scene Dark Funeral has definitely become a staple of this genre throughout the years. They have grown an enormous fan base with good reason and with a five year wait for this new album there has been a lot of anticipation. After listening to “Where Shadows Forever Reign” at least 3 or 4 times now I can say that fans will not be disappointed at all.
All the signature elements are in place perfectly. The dark atmosphere, melodic guitar leads, shredding blastbeats and beastly raw power. Heljormadr has been doing just fine taking over for Emperor Magus Caligula, bringing in his own energy and unique style while making the tracks sound just as aggressive as ever.
To those who are not too familiar with Dark Funeral it might not sound like too much has changed but to the more experienced fan there is more than what what meets the eye. It seems like the band is going back to their roots not only with their sound but with the look as well. If you look at “Secrets of the Black Arts” and this latest release you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. The same blue hues, the same hooded monks; it’s pretty cool to see them pay homage to their early days.
The production is really amazingly done, way better than on some of their prvious releases. The guitars come in crystal clear and the drums sound superbly intense. Dominator is just relentless with the double bass and blastbeats.
It will be interesting to see where Dark Funeral go next with their new vocalist, what new level they’ll take themselves to. They’ve been accused of taking the safe route at certain instances but I don’t agree with that and I don’t think that’s true for this release either. “Where Shadows Forever Reign” is a killer that will make both old and new fans more than happy.

-Katy Lestrange


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