The concert was scheduled for Sunday September 8 2013 at 8pm at the Opera House in Oslo, which is a futuristic, amazing, completely white building located by the sea. I arrive at the theater 20 minutes before 8pm and notice immediately the mixture of blacksters and chic people in super elegant clothes. After picking up the ticket and having a look around, I go to the merchandise stand, where, in addition to the usual t-shirts, cd’s, records and various gadgets, there is a set of wine glasses labeled “Satyricon” sold at the modest price of 700 Norwegian crowns. It’s quite an unusual gadget and I wonder why a metal band should sell a set of wine glasses, but my friend and I soon remember that Satyr owns a vineyard in France where he produces wine, and then everything tallies.
When it is about 8pm the bell that announces that the concert is about to begin resounds in the foyer. I have a seat in the stalls; it is a unique feeling to be at the Opera House to watch a black metal concert. Suddenly the lights go out, the notes of “Voice of Shadows”, the intro of the new self-titled album that I had already tasted at Inferno Festival, begin to be heard, the curtain rises and the live band of Satyricon is already on the forestage and behind them the symphonic opera chorus of Oslo; with a special effect, first Frost on drums and then Satyr with the guitar appear rising slowly on platforms that are lifted from trap doors opened up in the floor. All is very spectacular; the sound is superb, never been before at a black metal concert with such a perfect sound.
The adrenaline is flowing and all the audience, with the exception of those season-ticket holders who are not initiate to black metal, rise from their seats: impossible to remain seated. Negative note: the set list; with the exception of “Mother North” and “Repined Bastard Nation”, all the songs are from the last three albums including Satyricon. “Phoenix” is performed too, Sivert Høyem arrives on the stage in a black suit and Satyr takes up the guitar. All the time I’ve been waiting at least for “Hvite Krists død” but in vain, and I am a bit disappointed. But all the songs receive a different depth from the accompaniment of the symphonic chorus, which gives me goose bumps especially at those times when the chorus takes the lead role. In a couple of circumstances, in fact, not only did it accompany but it also performed very touching, independent choruses that made me weak at the knees with emotion. And then “Mother North”, the flagship song, was one of the highest moments. Pure adrenaline.
Great performance, particularly thanks to the two guitarists who ate up the stage with their stage presence, while I am still convinced that the bassist, Norwegian Anders Odden, albeit very good, sometimes looks like a fish out of water.
However, despite not having listened to “Hvite Krists død”, I'm happy in the end and after the concert I buy a souvenir T-shirt.
Photo by Stefano Pani