There have been times in their 25-year history when Satyricon visited Finland on a more regular basis, but their previous visit at Tuska 2014 had been followed by a phase of incertainty for the entire future of the band. When news of Satyr’s brain tumor spread in 2015, concerns for his health overshadowed all prospects of seeing the Norwegians live again anytime soon, if ever. Fortunately, the worst fears were unjustified. Last year’s album Deep Called Upon Deep showed the band at the top of their game, and Satyr displayed no signs of illness during the triumphant gig at Tavastia.
The place was sold out, no wonder given the long wait and the strength of the new material. Included in the set were the first four songs of DCOD; “Midnight Serpent” proved live as forceful an opener as on the album but my personal favorite was the title track. The middle period of the band’s career from Volcano to Age Of Nero was strongly represented, but neither were the old days forgotten. Of course the timeless “Mother North” has graced the setlist throughout the decades, but this time it was preceded by “Transcendental Requiem of Slaves” (also from Nemesis Divina) and the even older “Walk The Path of Sorrow”.
The only little disappointment from the pure and unadultered fangirl perspective was Satyr’s return to his old gel-overload hairstyle, but I guess in these days of political hypercorrectness it is considered insensitive to tell a guy to just let it grow and flow. Frost, on the other hand, was as sexy as ever, and I ended up watching most of the show from halfway up the stairs enjoying a very nice view over the stage (ignoring the slightly distracting LED fretmarks on Neddo’s bass).
Satyr didn’t waste much time on words and the almost 90-minute main set was an almost uninterrupted flow of music with “Now, Diabolical” being the most powerful moment if one should be named. But that wasn’t all, and after a very brief pause the band came back for three more songs. On “Pentagram Blues” and “Fuel for Hatred” Satyr also played guitar, although his trademark microphone stand almost counts as an instrument in itself. The final encore was “K.I.N.G.” – a fitting conclusion for a royal display of norse conquest.