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Revisiting the Album "Nemesis Divina" by Satyricon

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

Introduction to Satyricon's Best Early Album

The 1996 studio album Nemesis Divina by Norwegian black metal band Satyricon deserves special consideration and praise for being one of the most signature releases in the history of black metal. Latin for Divine Nemesis, the album is considered by the band to be darker and more aggressive than their previous album. What has not changed is the fact that sticking to the tradition, the band has included three songs sung entirely in their native Norwegian language instead of the normal two that Satyricon had for their first two albums.

About the Songs and Vocal Style In Nemesis Divina Part 1

The album ends with an instrumental song called “Transcendental Requiem of Slaves” and this one isn’t of the black metal style per se but more of a late 1990s melodic death metal style with a large acoustic section in it. The song also has this sort of sound as if there is thunder in the horizon as the song ends. “The Dawn of a New Age” begins this 1996 album as you can clearly hear the black metal style drumming in it. In spite of the fact that there is a lyrical line about it being like times of Armageddon and the impending doom for the world, the song is not the type where it will induce such a sentiment though. The lyrics are said to be from the Book of Revelations and they were edited and partially re-written by the vocalist that goes by the stage name of Satyr. Vocally, he kind of sounds like a mixture of Mika Tonning and OJ Mustonen but that’s the analysis I’m able to come up with after hearing the vocal style so many times.

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More About the Songs In Nemesis Divina

There is a section of this song (The Dawn of a New Age) which clearly sounds progressive in nature and it was something that had to do with how the metal genre was at the time. It also sounds very similar in style to another famous Norwegian black metal band and that is Dimmu Borgir. But it must be said that this writer prefers the music of Satyricon over that band because these songs are easier to handle and process and knowing that makes this album easier to listen through. The second song which translates to Bewitched in English is one of the two songs in this album that has Norwegian lyrics in it. Nemesis Divina is also one of those albums that is perfect to listen to on a cloudy day. This is because the album’s sound and feel is so dark. “Mother North” has a sort of chant mixed in with the rough vocals and this is one of those songs that has a good dual vocal approach. Stylistically, Nemesis Divina may as well have been one of those albums that set the foundation for albums that would follow it such as Catamenia’s Winternight Tragedies. The 4th song literally translates to “You Who Hate God” has a beautiful piano style section at the end which adds to the brilliance of the album. It takes a certain sort of music fan to notice how well written this album is over 25 years later. Another notable section of this album which one user on YouTube comments as a classic black metal masterpiece is the beginning of the song "Mother North" as Satyr with his vocal style sets the tone. It is the first two lines that really set in motion what is a memorable black metal song.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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