Satyricon - Deep Calleth Upon Deep (Napalm Records)

Satyricon look inward to the complexities of darkness in their bold and brooding ninth studio album, Deep Calleth Upon Deep.
Release Date: 
22 Sep 2017 (All day)

Satyricon have released some of black metal’s most classic and musically diverse albums since their inception in Norway in 1991. Since the release of their eponymous album Satyricon in 2013, the longstanding creative duo of Satyr and Frost have devised new approaches to the crafting of their music and this has become embodied in Deep Calleth Upon Deep, the band’s ninth studio album. Forever challenging the parameters of black metal, Satyricon have embraced an ode to the black metal sound in Deep Calleth Upon Deep, but have also managed to capture an intriguingly broad range of introspective emotion. 

Deep Calleth Upon Deep opens with ‘Midnight Serpent’, a stately track that ranges from austere mid pace to catchy faster sections. This track demonstrates for me where Satyricon have really nailed it with this album. ‘Midnight Serpent’ is a well-formed track in a dark anthem style with ritualistic repetitive lyrics that are intensely affective, eerie, and resonant. Signature lyrical lines woven through a solemn, blackened atmospheric riff captured the band’s new songwriting approach perfectly in To Your Brethren In The Dark. This immersive paired-back track elegantly layered into a troubled, thicker sound, and was close to my standout track on the album and certainly one thatrelfects a strange yearning, which is emblematic of Satyricon’s expressive new methods. Musical introspection has clearly been central to the creation of Deep Calleth Upon Deep and lyrical content has been so intricately intertwined with the overall arch and sentiment of the songs, one really is drawn into the dark, twisted, and complex caverns of the Satyricon psyche. 

The standout song on the album was ‘Black Wings and Withering Gloom’. Hypnotically violent, yet broodingly dark, it undoubtedly speaks to the strengths of Satyricon’s members. Frost is a drummer capable of astounding technical precision as well as powerful expression that is expounded to astonishing lengths in this track from flying speed framing the edgy blackened riffs, to primal rhythmic phrases. It is in these tracks that I feel Satyricon are moving into their most profound new territory. There is still a decent amount of variety on Deep Calleth Upon Deep. ‘Blood Cracks Open The Ground’ and title track ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ retain some of the black-n-roll thrashier energy familiar to more recent fans, along with more melodic elements in ‘The Ghosts of Rome’, to sheer eclectica in ‘Dissonant’.

Far fewer symphonic interludes and a stronger commitment to guttural vocals than on previous recent releases make Deep Calleth Upon Deep an engaging shorter eight-track album with a welcome return to full-bodied black metal. Satyricon have laid themselves before their fans with captivating transparency. Deep Calleth Upon Deep is a sophisticated and multidimensional black metal album that bears witness to just how complex darkness is for Satyricon.  

Deep Calleth Upon Deep is released 22 September via Napalm Records.