Sunday, July 10, 2016

Satyricon - All Evil (1992)

Recorded and released in the summer of 1992, All Evil is the first demo from Satyricon. This offering is quite interesting, having very little to do with the sound that the band would become known for. It's the only recording to feature the original line-up of Lemarchand, Wargod, Exhurtum and the soon-to-be usurper, Satyr. 

All Evil is quite brief, consisting really of just two actual songs, the title track and "Dreams of Satyr". The style is really stripped-down and primitive, bearing almost no resemblance to Dark Medieval Times. Lacking any synth to use as a crutch, the barbaric and gritty vibe is derived solely from traditional instruments. The sound is definitely a mixture of Black and Death Metal, perhaps leaning a bit more toward the former. The raspy vocals, toned-down drumming and some of the more droning riffs near the end of the two primary tracks aid in creating this feeling. Strangely, the opening riff of "All Evil" sounds as if it influenced the song "Lifeless", from Darkthrone's Ravishing Grimness. The songwriting is a little disjointed, as the faster riffs and lead solos seem to come from nowhere. "Dreams of Satyr" is more straightforward, for the most part, and flows better in general. 

The production is about as lousy as a demo tape from 1992 would lead one to expect, though nothing near as raw or necro as Wrath of the Tyrant or Yggdrasil. It could almost be compared to the early Thorns material, though with a weaker guitar that seems buried in the background by comparison. As well, the bass is too audible at certain points, giving a rather warm feeling to the music. 

Obviously, All Evil is a recording that pre-dates Satyr's takeover of the band and subsequent fascination with the likes of Burzum and Darkthrone, so it is rather unique within Satyricon's discography. The Death Metal aspects aren't anywhere near as violent and intense as the likes of Amputation or Thou Shalt Suffer, and the Black Metal side doesn't come close to being as dark as the other releases that were emerging from Norway around this time. That said, it isn't a bad little dose of early 90's Black/Death Metal and is worth a listen or two.