Satyricon have returned from a night at the opera, armed with a record that sounds…well, to these ears anyway…quite similar to the last few.

Great news if you enjoyed ‘Now, Diabolical’ and ‘Age of Nero’ but not so good if you were expecting (as promised) something a little different. A re-invention, the dawn of a new era, or even a return to the sound of yore.

(Personally, I found ‘Nemesis Divina’ hugely overrated).

Displaying a more confident stance than 2013’s self-titled album, ‘Deep calleth upon Deep’ is all about massive slabs of blackened riffs and Satyr’s empowering sermons, enhanced by Frost’s impeccable battery.

The first two tracks ‘Midnight Serpent’ and ‘Blood Cracks Open The Ground’ begin the album pretty much as you would expect, even following the opening double hit that started ‘Now, Diabolical’, but we’re introduced to a more proggy aspect in the latter track.

The moody ‘To Your Brethren In The Dark’ should certainly please the black metal faithful, both musically and lyrically, while the title track continues in the vein of big riffs, but with the opera influence creeping through in the grand backing vocals, as does ‘The Ghost Of Rome’.

‘Dissonant’ lives up to its name with a bizarre sax/trumpet intro, and ‘Black Wings And Withering Gloom’ is a definite highlight, all spindly webs of guitar lines and frozen ambience. This gives us the insanely groovy ‘Burial Rite’ to finish up an album that sounds very well-constructed, very upfront, and very Satyricon.

So, ‘Deep calleth upon Deep’ is surely the sound of a band who appear perfectly comfortable with their musical output and identity, and how to powerfully deliver it.

Good for them.

(Not sure about the choice of cover art though, even if it is by Edvard Munch).

(7.5/10 Stuart Carroll)