Live at the Opera


Over the span of the decades that the modern musical pantheon of Metal bands have […]
By Matt "Wolverine" Johnson
May 5, 2015
Satyricon - Live at the Opera album cover

Over the span of the decades that the modern musical pantheon of Metal bands have existed, there have been many which have collaborated with a full live symphonic accompaniment, including METALLICA, EPICA, DIMMU BORGIR, and RAMMSTEIN. Latest to add on that list is SATYRICON, which to some may be an unlikely candidate for such a project, but the live album from the performance that was recorded, "Live at the Opera" was more than qualified. The choir of voices backing the raw black power of the Satyr and Frost duo produces a sound that borders on the haunted realms of darkness, producing an aura of evil glory, pulsing through the air like waves of destruction.

For the foundation of the performance, there is a wide spectrum of songs that stretch across the longevity of SATYRICON's storied career. For the most part, the operatic voices of both men and women provide an epic background in cathedral fashion. On occasion, there are words and phrases that come from the choir where in the studio-recorded versions of the songs there are no such utterances. This mostly happens in the spaces between the normal vocal parts. Lay that element across the unfiltered strength of sound for which the band is renowned and the listener gets the sense that this performance was more than just a musical experience: it was spiritual.

On a track with which myself and countless fans are familiar, "The Pentagram Burns" there is a point where after a couple of verses, the tempo changes and builds to a bitchin' guitar riff that compels me to headbang in all of the glorious splendor I can manage. Coupled with that buildup is an ensemble of soprano voices that crescendo to match the energy of those few measures. It creates a synergy that gives the impression that some epic shit is about to go down, and it does not disappoint.

"Now, Diabolical" is another such track that uses to its advantage the symphonic choir combination set behind the music. The smooth baritones of the male voices follow the notes and progressions of the guitar and elevate the sonic intensity to a new level.

It is safe to say that no one is really sure of what will and won't work with the added choir (and in other cases a genuine orchestra). What is safe to say is that in most instances, such an idea, with the right amount of focus and preparation, the results are spectacular. "Live at the Opera" is exactly such an instance and fans of SATYRICON like myself who have never had the opportunity to see them in concert can get a taste of what it's like, plus the one step further by the inclusion of the choir. It is easy to figure that no matter if someone has seen this band in concert or not, this is one album that is essential to any fan's collection!

8 / 10


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"Live at the Opera" Track-listing:

Disc 1:
1. Voice of Shadows
2. Now Diabolical
3. Repined Bastard Nation
4. Our World it Rumbles Tonight
5. Nocturnal Flare
6. Die By My Hand
7. Tro Og Kraft
8. Phoenix

Disc 2:
1a. Den Siste
2b. The Infinity of Time and Space
3b. To The Mountains
4b. The Pentagram Burns
5a. Mother North
6b. K.I.N.G.

Satyricon Lineup:

Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven - Vocals, Guitars
Kjetil-Vidar "Frost" Haraldstad - Drums

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