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.