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Dark Medieval Times

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(8 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • This is a disturbing, intensely pure work.
    Belongs on any serious music lover’s open-minded shelf.

    Posted on March 3, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • In 1993, a little known band (at the time) called Satyricon released their debut, Dark Medieval Times. With Satyr on guitar, bass, and keyboards and Frost on drums, the duo, little to their knowledge, unleashed what would become one of black metal’s classic albums.

    Yes, we know, the production isn’t perfect, but it is at the same time. It fits the mood of the music perfectly. It isn’t as cheap-sounding as other black metal releases, but is a little more raw and cold, the way black metal should sound. I personally like black metal-style production. When I first heard it I liked it; as a guitarist, I thought the guitars sounded really cool/cold and I was hooked. The atmosphere here is one of the best in black metal. The addition of acoustic guitars, flutes, and a light dash of keyboards help contribute to the medieval atmosphere. The acoustic passages especially sound good, beautiful even. Just check out “Min Hyllest Til Vinterland” if you don’t believe me. And of course, Frost gives a great performance on drums, although he would get even better in the years to come.

    One thing I find fascinating about this cd is that no lyrics were in the booklet, and they aren’t found online anyway, leaving them a total mystery. That’s an awesome little nuance to this cd, although I can understand a good bit of what he says (anyone can, you just have to listen carefully). Anyway, my favorite tracks are “Walk the Path of Sorrow”, “Min Hyllest Til Vinterland,” and “In to the Mighty Forest,” although every track is solid, and no skipping is necessary. For a great effect, listen to this cd on a dark, cloudy winter day, that really brings out the atmosphere well. If you want more like this, Check out Satyricons next two full lengths, The Shadowthrone and Nemesis Divina, Behemoth’s Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic), and Ulver’s Nattens Madrigal. Enjoy.

    Posted on March 3, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • But this stuff is insanely talented, and doesn’t fall into the pitfalls that most black metal bands do. Yes, the double bass never lets up. Yes, the vocals are more screamed than actually sung. Yes, the guitars are heavily distorted. But along with all of the above, they manage to incorporate midevial influences, and work wonders with the black metal sound. I would give this 3 stars alone for effort. Than I give the next one for accomplishing what they set out to do, giving us an extreme, yet genuinely experimental, artifact of metal.

    Posted on March 3, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Dark, cold and murderous. Those are the words that come to mind when you first experience this masterpiece of Black Metal. I can’t think of one track on this CD that doesn’t deserve 5 stars. The title track is about as evil and haunting as you can get. Lots of reviewers talk about ‘atmosphere’ and ‘cold’ sounding albums; this one ranks right up there with the best. There’s Burzum, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Darkthrone and then there’s this gem by Satyricon. If you are building a Black Metal collection or you’re wondering what the whole ‘Norwegian’ Black Metal movement is all about, then buy this right away. You will not regret it and it won’t be leaving your CD player anytime soon.
    Big Hail to Satyr for creating this one.

    Posted on March 3, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Simply put, this album is perfect. Now, “perfect” is not an adjective I use with an frequency, especially when it comes to music. I am very picky, and can usually find a flaw somewhere, even in my favorite albums. But not this one. I can honestly say, every note, every syllable, every second of every track on this album is done to perfection. In my opinion, Satyricon never topped this release. It is epic, majestic, and beautiful, while at the same time as brutally visceral as you could want. Satyr gave his best vocal performance here, and it is very chilling indeed. The riffs and melodies are very cold and wintry, as well as dark and, well, medieval! Frost gives an excellent drum performance, and shows us the brilliant drummer we all know he is. This album is so ridiculously full of atmosphere, it makes even Darkthrone seem sterile. There is a generous use of acoustic guitars on this release, and I think they are even more artistic and well-used than even the acoustic parts on “Blood Fire Death.” There is a light sprinkling of keyboards on this release, generally in the form of ambient soundscapes or wind-sounding effects, but they by no means overpower any of the other instruments (think “In the Nightside Eclipse” instead of “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk.”)And flutes! There are flutes used on two tracks on this album, and they fit perfectly. Especially on the title track, perhaps my favorite song of all time. It begins with about 2:30 of harsh black metal, then goes into an acoustic passage, and then more black metal, and then another acoustic passage, where the flute shows up for the first time, and presents us with a very folk-ish medieval solo. Then more black metal, and another flute/acoustic passage, then a last black metal passage. Finally, to close the song there is a return of the flute, playing a very simple, yet effective, medieval melody. Astounding! Certainly this album should be in the collections of all who call themselves fans of black metal or folk metal, as it is a brilliant album. Also check out their second release, “The Shadowthrone” which is also perfect, though i slightly prefer this one.

    Posted on March 3, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now