Satyricon @ Sound Control
So, the Norwegian black metallers roll through Manchester once again, this time in a much smaller venue, at Sound Control, but that didn't stop the legions of fans piling into the place. Honestly the place was packed and the sound was pretty decent all night, well for me at least. It was a great way to spend a Tuesday night. They brought along two hungry young bands along for the show as well, unfortunately due to scheduling difficulties both Vredehammer & Oslo Faenskap didn't get much time to perform which was a shame as they both sounded really good from what they played.
Vredehammer sadly only got two songs in, which I thought was a bit of a shame, I've seen simple jam nights where the bands get longer for their trouble. But you know what, from what they played I bet their set probably would have been a good one; it was heavy and the band was pretty decently levelled, although the singer was a little on the quiet side. In all honesty though it’s really difficult to make a fair judgement when you only have two songs to show off your ability.
Up next where Oslo Faenskap who felt a little more energetic and had a little more time with a whole four songs…. Again it’s really difficult to make a fair assessment when the band isn’t getting the time to show off. However, this was their first time in Manchester and they were determined to make the most of it. It’s a shame though, that the audience weren’t really up for it, and who could blame them, the band were coming and going so fast it was like black metal whiplash and it was hard to focus on them. I found them pretty enjoyable, there was a lot of movement and the music was pretty cool, I have checked them out online since and they’re a pretty fun band and I’d love to see them again, playing a full set hopefully.
At last though Satyricon took to the stage, and they were actually really good. I have always heard about their live shows being good and this definitely a great example of what they could do. There was just this ambience to the whole show and the band themselves had a great presence. I’ll openly admit that I’m not the biggest fan of black metal, apart from some of the big European names I actually know very little about the genre, but is this band is anything to go by then I could find myself at a few more shows. With the opening to the set, everyone in the audience was fully amped for it, the sound was particularly awesome and I could hear everything pretty decently, from the raging guitars the thunderous bass, all the way to the excellently executed drum work from Frost. Satyr was an excellent front man, keeping up some chatter to the crowd whilst being this awesome presence, he made the show for me by just being an awesome front man.
The setlist was decent and featured a large amount of material, incorporating all of the bands skills and showing off their diversity within the constraints of black metal. Songs like Now, Diabolical, Ageless Northern Spirit and The Pentagram Burns blasted out and the audience was singing, moshing (and whatever else you do at a metal show) along to the powerful captivating tunes. There was even a sneaky little cover of Holiday in Cambodia by The Dead Kennedys in there which raised a collective smile on everyone's faces whilst they sung along in unison.
This was an amazing show. Satyricon really do pack a punch live, I’m quite happy this was in a small venue the atmosphere at Sound Control was really nice and fit the dirty underground personality of the night. Quality gig, quality metal.
Words: Mick Birchall Photos: Laura Piggford