|Review: Troll - Neo-Satanic Supremacy|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 3, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.7/5 (74%) (10 Votes)
These Norwegians formed way back in 1992, but their previous (and third) album dates all the way back to 2001. Apparently their later work paled compared to their first album, but this here is sure bound to be their redemption in the eyes of fans of their earlier material. Remember symphonic black metal? There was a lot of good stuff in the later part of the 90s, and then everybody jumped on board and fucked it up badly. We just don't hear as much of this stuff nowadays and frankly with all the crap that was being produced at one point, it's probably for the best. Well, with Neo-Satanic Supremacy, Troll bring symphonic black metal back on the right track.
Keyboards are of course very much present here, pretty much a requirement in the genre, but they're used to good essence. They're non-stop for the most part, and were this a sucky album, this would be a bad thing. Not here. They merely accompany the guitar and drums rather than drown them in a sea of gayness (a common problem in the genre), and they're played in sync with the other instruments rather than just being oblivious to everything else. Melodic but also a bit dark in sound, here and there they even add a bit of heaviness to the album. It has been a while since I last heard a black metal album with so much keyboards without feeling the urge to throw up. This here is the way to do keyboard-heavy black metal. Some bands should take notes.
Guitars and drums follow the basic recipe of mid to late 90s Norwegian and Swedish black metal. Very fast and sharp riffage on the part of the guitars, focusing more on the technical aspect (as opposed to a more basic necro style), this stuff is reminiscent of some the best work from the era. The drums are blasting away at high speed, but this is not just senseless blasting for the sake of being fast – even at high speeds things are kept interesting and I often found myself focusing solely on the drums; there's some good stuff going on in there. There are of course some slower passages found here – this is not a speedfest from beginning to end. Things get slightly more atmospheric then, and the keyboards can sometime take over for short bursts. The vocals are BM raspy screeches, no bad surprises here as the vocalist is top notch.
Neo-Satanic Supremacy was definitely an unexpected surprise, as I was expecting another crapfest when I saw that this was symphonic black metal. An interesting and enjoying album from beginning to end. If like me you had been ignoring the genre, this one here might bring back the sparks.
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