For us westerners there is nothing quite like catching a live performance of true Norwegian black metal on the soil that birthed the sub-genre. This is the stuff of blackened dreams – bucket-list shit to the nth degree. It must be experienced.
For those that have yet to experience this, fret not, as we packed up the crew of our This Is Armageddon! column and shipped them off to Norway; all the way to the city that birthed the man who would help define the sound of True Norwegian Black Metal. Trondheim.
What's so special about Trondheim? Well, as hinted above, the sound of the second wave of black metal that began in the early 90's (Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Immortal, Emperor, Enslaved, Carpathian Forest, Gorgoroth and, the reason you are reading this today, Satyricon) can be traced back to the pioneering efforts of Trondheim resident, Snorre 'Blackthorn' Ruch (Stigma Diabolicum/Thorns). It was, in fact, Snorre who developed a new style of guitar playing. Without Snorre's application of open-stringed tremolo picking – heavy on dissonant chords and tonal progressions – well, True Norwegian Black Metal might never have come into existence. Oh, we should also mention that Trondheim is the same city one can find Nidaros Cathedral, the church which adorns Mayhem's classic De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (the very same album to feature Snorre as a session musician – credited under the name 'Blackthorn') .
Which brings us to today's topic. Satyricon. As one of the originators of the sub-genre, Satyricon have over a quarter century of experience under their bullet adorned belts. In fact, the aforementioned Mr. Ruch has contributed to the Satyricon catalog, more specifically songwriting credits on Rebel Extravaganza and The Age Of Nero. As a return favor, Satyricon mainman, Satyr Wongraven, performed a good chunk of vocals on Thorns' self-titled 2001 effort (the debut, and only, full-length effort of Snorre's exalted project).
So, what better way to celebrate the roots of True Norwegian Black Metal than a photo-feature of the mighty Satyricon performing live at Byscenen in Trondheim, Norway this past November 23rd. As you will see, this was an epic performance which included a nice mix of classic songs, as well as tracks taken from their brand new opus, the majestic Deep Calleth Upon Deep.
Stay tuned, as in the coming weeks we will have an exclusive interview with the one and only Frost, conducted at this very same show…
(Photos by Kim Baarda)