Review SATYRICON “Nemesis Divina” (by Ivona Bogner)

Review SATYRICON “Nemesis Divina” (by Ivona Bogner)

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SATYRICON “Nemesis Divina”
Napalm Records

Nemesis Divina is the third album of Norwegian legendary black metal band Satyricon. It was released in 1996 (Moonfog Productions).

20 years later, band released remestered edition of “Nemesis Divina” to mark anniversary.

Back in 1996… Cover art was revolutionary if we consider metal standards in that period. There were no black and white images, corpse paint, no frost landscapes, no amateurism at all. “Nemesis Divina” totally unexpected brought rich colors to cover art. Looking from my perspective as someone who has ornitophobia, the cover art is frightning.

All songs are property of Satyr,  vocalist, lead and rhythm guitarist, bassist and keyboardist. One song, “Du som hater Gud” (“You Who Hate God”) was written by Fenriz, the best known as Darkthrone drummer, bassist, vocalist and rhythm guitar player.

“Nemesis Divina” is pure black metal classic. You can’t say you are fan of a genre if you have never heard this album. Why? Simply, because that album brought them from pure underground to the leading position in black metal. This is masterpiece, revolutionary, inspirational album to many bands that were playing in their basements hoping one day they could share stage with Satyricon. Album simply redefined black metal as we knew. Again, for those who are not familiar with metal history, in short lines, black metal has two waves. First wave of black metal are bands such as Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Merciful Fate, Hellhammer and second one are bands who change the style, mostly Norwegian bands such as Satyricon, Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor, Enslaved, Mayhem…The difference between those two waves is ideology. While Venom and Celtic Frost wrote about anti- Christian and Satanism themes and music was closer to thrash metal, they were never that radical in their ideas such bands who inherited them. Raw production, burning churches, kidnappings, murders… Those might be the words which describe the best second wave of black metal. And than, in 1996 things changed.

“This is Armageddon”, Satyr screams at the beginning of “The Dawn Of A new Age” and that is perfect introduction to “Nemesis Divina”. That armageddon brings complex and melodic riffs, mystic atmosphere and chilling feelings. The real anthem of black metal is “Mother North”, maybe one of the best known Satyricon songs among the people who are not fans of the black metal. And, yes, you can hear piano in “Du som hater Gud” (You Who Hate God), there are industrial elements in “Transcendental Requiem of Slaves”, production is different than black metal standards by that time, everything is clear but that is the reason why I wrote this album redefined black metal as we knew.

“Nemesis Divina” was Satyricon ticket to black metal Hall of fame. If you never heard this album before, I think now is the perfect time.

(c) Ivona Bogner

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