November 20, 2008 saw Slipknot, Machine Head and Children Of Bodom play at HMH in Amsterdam, while Zonaria, Evile and Satyricon hit the stage at Melkweg in the same city. So, what to do? Watch Joey Jordison and his fellow masked percusionists, plus Dave McClain and Jaska Raatikainen? Or see how drummers Emanuel Isaksson, Ben Carter and Frost (Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad) and their bands would do on stage?
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Drummerszone.com decided to visit Melkweg and check out the last mentioned. Unfortunately, Evile lead guitarist Ol Drake had broken his jaw the day before, forcing the British thrashers to drop off the tour.
This left Zonaria as Satyricon\'s only warming up act. The melodic death metallers from UmeŚ, Sweden, list Dimmu Borgir and Arch Enemy to their influences. Drummer Emanuel Isaksson and his band needed several songs to get into shape, but during the second half of their show they clearly connected with each other. The locked into a relentless mix of maniacal drumming with nice rolling blasts and plenty of double bass spurts, brutal riffs, melodic harmonies, and ominous synth lines. Not surprisingly, most songs they played were coming from the group\'s latest album \'The Cancer Empire\'.
After quite a long break to clear the floor for this night\'s headliners, Satyricon arrived one-by-one on stage. The band, who record as a two piece with Frost on drums and Satyr (Sigurd Wongraven) on guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, were expanded to a full live band by Steinar Gundersen and Gildas Le Pape on guitar, Victor Brandt on bass, and Jonna Nikula on keyboards and backing vocals.
Although Satyricon have their roots in the Norwegian extreme metal scene, Satyrís delivery has become pure rock Ďní roll - especially with his locks chopped and well-trimmed these days. Even his giant pitchfork mic stand was more theatrical than threatening. It links up with the musical direction that was set with 2006ís \'Now, Diabolical\'. This album had a more black ní roll feel and so does Satyricon\'s latest effort, \'The Age of Nero\', which features groove oriented drumming with an almost minimalistic approach - as far as possible within this genre.
They decided to strip away all ambiguous elements and went to the essentials with sombre melody lines and precise, overwhelming rhythmic structures courtesy of drum legend Frost.
The setlist drew heavily on newer songs including Angstridden, The Wolfpack, Commando, Now, Diabolical and Black Crow On A Tombstone. These compositions are clearly better suited to perform live rather than the fast, older songs which are stuffed with blast beats that easily drowns the other parts.
Still there\'s plenty of musical aggression in Satyricon\'s dark, sinister music. And Frost added his part not only with his modified cymbal stands (which featured welded organic spikes), but also banged the drums as if consumed by an inner fire to set the world ablaze: