Today is the first installment of a two part series called “Second Albums by Bands I Like That I Didn’t Know Existed For Far Too Long” or something to that affect. Basically it’s a review of two classic bands second albums that, for me, have flown way under the radar. The first up is Satyricon’s The Shadowthrone.
Now it may just be me and how I view and discover music but I didn’t know Satyricon had a second album for the longest time. I thought it just went Dark Medieval Times then Nemesis Divina. Probably because nobody ever talks about it when they talk about Satyricon. It’s usually talk about the obvious classic Nemesis, or Medieval for those who think Divina is too “black metal 101,” or whatever. If it’s not those two albums then it’s usually about the change in the bands sound and quality over the years or the antics of the band members. I’m not here to talk about that, maybe in another post because I do have an urge to jump into some of that later stuff, but for now let’s look at The Shadowthrone.
Coming out the same year as Dark Medieval Times I think Shadowthrone is the literal stepping stone between the first album and Divina but still veers closer to Times, compositionally. Musically things are a bit tighter, less raw, less sporadic than the debut with hints the the more atmospheric and large scope they’d go for on Divina. The atmosphere is still dark and moody, a quality I’ve associated with their first album, not Divina which is warmer, I feel.
But the music is still powerful, still fucking nasty and riffy and evil with that quintessential 90’s Norwegian black metal bite to it. I think now after hearing it that it doesn’t really have it’s own identity. It’s more of a continuation of the first album that has the seeds of what Nemesis Divina would be, which is a classic album of the genre, and I think that’s why it’s left out of the Satyricon lineage. I think it’s a good album and a reminder of how good this band used to be.