Most black-metal bands are as stiff and cold as the corpses they fashion themselves after by caking on deathly white face paint. But Norway's Satyricon breaks the ice with a clear affection for '80s thrash, where velocity and vicissitude went hand in hand.
Black metal's requisite blast beats, turgid rhythms, and stentorian growls all figure into Satyricon's blasphemous Exorcist-core. But on the band's latest, the volatile, aptly titled Volcano, Satyricon sounds closer to Kill 'Em All-era Metallica than Mayhem, with melodic, mid-paced riffs adding real color to a genre that's often as monotone as its name implies.
Volcano, nominated for the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy, is finally seeing the light of day (or black of night, rather) in America through System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian's new EatUrMusic imprint on Columbia. The band will make a rare U.S. appearance to support the album, though the tour was almost scuttled at the last minute when drummer Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad was denied a work visa. As a result, Zyklon's Trym will be filling in behind the kit when the band roars into the Odeon on Wednesday.