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(Virgin Records)

The new SATYRICON album is, besides the fact that it is the first Black Metal album to be released on a major label, musically a quite bizarre experience. It is definitely nothing for the Black Metal maniacs out there who think of Black Metal as an elite, 1000% underground phenomenon, because "Volcano" breaks these laws of limitation, exclusiveness and the sometimes small, often very big intolerance that is the major problem of so called "true" Black Metal and its followers. The musical experiments on "Volcano" are only minimal and not revolutionary, some female vocals in three songs, which remind me of melancholy stuff like PORTISHEAD, some electronic effects and samples - that's all. All songs have a grim and primitive feeling, especially due to the relatively simple and often repetative riffing. Satyr's vocals are colder, darker and better than on all other SATYRICON offerings at least in my opinion, they are more emphasized and very intense - great job!!! Songs like the opener 'With Ravenous Hunger' or the closing track 'Black Lava' (which lyrically reflects the good old days of Black Metal) deliver this epic and mighty feeling, that makes Black Metal so special and fascinating, but sadly these songs are the only highlights on "Volcano". Some of the eight tracks (e.g. 'Repined Bastard Nation', 'Suffering The Tyrants') tend to feature minimalistic riffs and song structures, that get repeated again and again until they simply bore!!! To some listeners this might have a psychedelic or enthralling effect, but sometimes it seems to me a bit nerve-shattering, sorry. Listen to the album in a CD shop near you and find out for yourself, it is not a bad album, but one that needs time and attention. Well, that is the only point of criticism I could discover, I can live with the label change and my promo looks very "underground", haha, black & white photocopied booklet and a CD-R with the Virgin Records logo. Anyway, check out "Volcano", if you like a grim and quite unique album with an absolute fantastic sound (dark and very heavy), a very mature and modern feeling and slight reminiscences of the past of this still fascinating Norwegian legend.

Stefan Franke

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