Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Satyricon - Ten Horns - Ten Diadems (2002)

I don't care how you want to spin it. I don't care if there are several remastered songs. I don't care if there's a fat, pretty booklet with lots of grim pictures words from the Artist himself. Ten Horns - Ten Diadems is yet another example of crass and wholly unnecessary commercialism from an artist who you'd think might shun the very idea of the thing. By 2002, Satyricon had certainly carved out a name for itself and placed itself upon a pedestal. The world of black metal neophytes was theirs to win or lose, and their progressively more rock-oriented outings would either alienate the traditional genre fans of their first three records or win them droves of new admirers thanks to increasing visibility and video play.

So I have to wonder, why bother with this? This wasn't released through some major, faceless corporate entity, but Moonfog Productions itself! Granted, they did a better job on the package than you'd expect from a garbage Roadrunner or Relativity comp, and they bothered to include one previously unreleased song. But seriously...10 horns. 10 diadems. 10 songs? Why not make this a fucking double-disc. Or hell, why not just re-issue the first two albums Dark Medieval Times and The Shadowthrone, entirely remastered, in one package with all of the added visual splendors, notes and bonus tracks. THAT might be something to throw down a 20 spot on, but this is just a meek sampling of things that the Satyricon fan already owns. The remastered cuts are "Taakeslottet" (Dark Medieval Times), "Dominions of Satyricon" (The Shadowthrone) and "Night of Divine Power" (Megiddo EP, a remake of "Dark Castle in the Deep Forest") and while brighter than their original incarnations, they lose a bit of their grisly, original edge.

It feels that they were remastered simply to bring them up to the standards of the newer material that was included here. Speaking of which, we are given "Forhekset" and"Mother North" from Nemesis Divina (1996), "Hvite Krists Død" from The Shadowthrone (1994, strangely not remastered), and then two tracks from their most recent full-length at the time, Rebel Extravaganza (1999): "Filthgrinder" and "Supersonic Journey". Closing this out, they've included one song off the new full-length Volcano that would also release in 2002: "Repined Bastard Nation". Admittedly, there are some great songs in this bunch, but I already owned them all, and it's hard not to feel a little ripped off. What's worse, the unreleased track "Serpent's Rise" is little more than some spoken narrative (male and female) over a dissonance, early atmospheric riff and then some baseless, boring chugging riff. Not hard to see why this would not rate inclusion on one of the full-lengths...

In short, this sucks. Tremendously. Who the fuck is it for? Is it meant to ween the tween initiate onto the teats of Satyr and Frost? Couldn't they just buy Nemesis Divina and work it all out for themselves?

Verdict: Epic Fail [1.5/10]


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