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'Nemesis Divina'
(Napalm Records)

jools green

Jools Green


It's hard for me to believe twenty years have passed since Norwegian Black Metal duo Satyricon released their third, hugely influential album 'Nemesis Divina', originally out on the now long gone Moonfog Productions and an album that rewrote the rules of Black Metal and in many ways brought the genre out of the dark wallowing shadows and into the fore.

But passed it has and by way of celebration the album has been very carefully re-mastered by Satyr himself, along with upgraded and revamped packaging and to my ears it sounds even better than it did two decades ago.

Many purists will say why re-master and risk the dilution of its original potency, but that hasn't happened at all. It is an album that has stood the test of time and the original qualities that made it such an impressive listen then are still there now. The superb construction of the tracks can't be affected, the rich rawness is still there but elements are now sharper and crisper, from the unrelenting delivery of Frost's drum work to Satyr's crushing riffs and rasping vitriolic delivery; I don't think he has ever surpassed what he achieved on 'Nemesis Divina' from a range, inflection and intonation perspective.

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Alongside Satyr and Frost, this release also saw collaboration from Darkthrone's Nocturno Culto, here known as Kveldulv, adding extra guitars across the album, Geir Bratland on keyboard, piano and synthesiser duties and Nebelhexe adding the spoken elements to the first track 'The Dawn Of A New Age’ and from that opening line of "This is Armageddon!!", your attention is firmly grabbed. Is it any wonder this album is so good?

Then there's the groundbreaking addition of folk guitar and piano on 'Forhekset' with its haunting repeat riff and also on the classic 'Mother North', the track which comes immediately to mind at the very mention of Satyricon. The lyrics to 'Du som hater Gud' were penned by Fenriz, the other half of Black Metal duo Darkthrone.


The remaining tracks, the superb 'Immortality Passion' with its exotic leaning, flowing battery of drum work and intense waves of riffling that verge on the brink of chaotic, album title track 'Nemesis Divina' where Satyr's evil laugh stays with you forever as the dark melody rises and falls in great waves around you and the dark majestic 'Transcendental Requiem Of Slaves', complete this listening experience par excellence.

'Nemesis Divina' is now available as a CD Mediabook or 12" limited edition vinyl, the groundbreaking, vibrant, symbolism rich artwork that broke mould of the bleak, monochrome and corpse paint filled world of Black Metal art covers, remains in all its bright, bold yet still subtly sinister glory.

My opinion of this release remains unchanged. I loved it twenty years ago and I still love it now, just this time around it is an even more vibrant and stunning listen.

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