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Review of the Album "Rebel Extravaganza" by Norwegian Black Metal Band Satyricon

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

What the Album's Style Is Like: a Brief Desciption

Rebel Extravaganza is the 1999 studio album by Norwegian black metal band Satyricon and it just so happens that I started to listen to this album in 2022. This album has a bit more of a mechanical/electronic kind of feel to it while still maintaining that black metal feel as well. There are a few very long songs in this album which could feel like they drag on so this one aspect alone may cause this album to not be their absolute best work.

Rebel Extravaganza Is Satyricon's Most Complex Album

Was the band having a rebel kind of attitude when they were composing this album? It is hard to say that with any certainty but with this album, we hear more complex song structures as well as a few shorter songs among the bunch. With song titles such as Filthgrinder and Rhapsody in Filth you might get the thought that these guys may have been influenced to a degree by the band Cradle of Filth but let’s not even compare these guys to them as Satyricon’s brand of black metal is superior. One user on YouTube commented that this is the band’s best album that they made and the assertion that Satyricon made some pop oriented albums afterwards. No, they did not make that dramatic of a shift but they had more of rock and roll approach combined with a few more melodic parts.

The One Constant In the Career of Satyricon Has Been Their Lineup

The lineup has been pretty much constant, with two members playing the majority of the instruments. The drums may sound like they are programmed but there is a drummer, known by his stage name of Frost.

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An Analyzed Approach to Describing the Songs

However, the middle section of the song “Tied in Bronze Chains” is exotically written and it is the best part of this almost 11 minute song. You’d think that these guys tried to take a page out of Opeth’s musical book or something. Rebel Extravaganza could be the album that sees Satyricon sort of transition into using different elements in their music. Even a band such as this one tried to change certain things in order to deal with the changing music scene of the times. This first song lyrically and even in terms of its style is similar to Satyricon’s countrymen Dimmu Borgir. This isn’t a surprise is it? Then from what seems like something that comes out of nowhere, at the 5:20 mark is a really unexpected riff section that actually fits with the song and makes it better. Supersonic Journey is a song that is lyrically about traveling on some journey and living in a different reality. There is also a really nice symphonic part in this song and it shows that Norway is a country that is skilled to the core when it comes to playing and performing the metal genre. “End of Journey” is an instrumental song that you could say continues in the style of the previous song.

Final Thoughts About Satyricon's 1999 Album

Listening to Rebel Extravaganza again, I am convinced that the only drawback if there is one is the length of a few of the songs. Don’t allow the lyrics about hell and darkness dissuade you from listening to this album because it is strong just like the three albums before it. Down South, Up North is a really short instrumental track that could have been part of the soundtrack of a movie because of how suspenseful sounding it is.

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© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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