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Classic Review: Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times
Dark Medieval Times

Label: Moonfog Productions
Year released: 1993
Duration: 43:31
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: June 17, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Dark Medieval Times

Rated 3.93/5 (78.6%) (43 Votes)

Wow. I have heard several Satyricon albums over the years, and I have always considered them highly overrated, especially after "Rebel Extravaganza" and the snooze-fest that was "Volcano". I wondered why anyone would ever idolize this mediocre band, and assumed it was just because they were there with the big second-wave BM bands during the explosion of the Norwegian scene in the early 90's. But I get it now, I completely get it, as this, their debut, is just fucking godly.

Amazing to think that Satyr was an 18-year-old punk when he recorded this. How could he get it so right this time, and lose it so utterly later? "Dark Medieval Times" is just about as perfect as a Black Metal album can get. Starting with the signature raw guitar sound and the blasting, Mayhem-styled riffs, Satyr added a flourish of melody, touches of acoustic folk music, and a traditional metal sensibility to create a sound that is simultaneously classic and groundbreaking. The music on here does not sound even a little dated, and a dozen years after it was released it still sounds almost progressive – that is how ahead of its time this album was.

DMT opens wide with the one-two punch of "Walk The Path Of Sorrow" and then the title cut, both of them 8+ minute exercises in epic Black Metal power. Rather than roar away at full speed, these songs are more midpaced and employ punchy, memorable riffs. The acoustic breaks are well-done and always fit with the song. Some of the riffs here are almost doomy or Sabbathy, and they make sure the songs are all memorable. I'd pick favorites, but I really can't, as the album is unified and must be taken as a complete entity.

For once, all the fans who told me I had to hear this album before I judged were right: whatever you think of Satyr's later direction for the band, "Dark Medieval Times" is a masterpiece of Black Metal, fully on a par with contemporary classics such as "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" or "Der Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" – though to be honest I think this is easily the best release among them. Classic for a reason.

Track Listing:
  1. Walk The Path Of Sorrow
  2. Dark Medieval Times
  3. Skyggedans
  4. Min Hyllest Til Vinterland
  5. Into The Mighty Forest
  6. The Dark Castle In The Deep Forest
  7. Taakeslottet
Other related information on the site
Review: Now, Diabolical (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Volcano (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Video: Mother North
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