Satyricon, Chthonic, Act of Destruction, Rosenguard | Double Door | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Satyricon, Chthonic, Act of Destruction, Rosenguard Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Mon., Oct. 19, 8 p.m. 2009

This Norwegian band is nothing if not polarizing. Though singer and multi-instrumentalist Satyr and drummer Frost, Satyricon's core duo, have impeccably blackened resumés, over the years their music has shed the distinguishing characteristics black metal has developed since the days of Venom and Bathory, settling almost comfortably into a classic-metal feel. Their latest album, last fall's The Age of Nero (Roadrunner/Koch), has ear-infecting riffs, broad backbeats, and a hard-to-pinpoint laid-back quality—a combination I'd go so far as to call passive-aggressive, since it might as well be calculated to make black-metal fundamentalists froth at the mouth. At Encyclopaedia Metallum one reviewer called The Age of Nero Satyricon's best in more than a decade, while another ranted, "The band obviously hates their fans and anyone who would actually condescend to give them a chance, because this is just such a huge middle finger to anyone who ever liked this band in the first place." I guess it's pretty metal in a way to do something you know is going to piss off your base, and that makes this album's guilty pleasures—the joyously boneheaded "Commando," the sincerely savage "The Sign of the Trident," the "hit" single, "Black Crow on a Tombstone"—even easier to enjoy. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $17

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