Opening the show was Taiwanese band Chthonic. Sometimes support bands can be utterly amazing and sometimes you find yourself wishing that they’d hurry up and finish – and unfortunately Chthonic fell into the latter category this time around. Having seen this band four times now in various different support slots, their performance is just the same every time: dull and uninspiring, with terrible forced vocals and sets full of songs that all sound identical to one another. Still, they went down well with the crowd and I have to admit that I thought the lights on their bassist’s fretboard were awesome – but it’s a sad tale if the best thing about a band is a couple of lights on one of their instruments.
Of course, it was Satyricon‘s night and they took to the stage to a roar of cheers before swiftly launching into an incredible set that was crammed full of a great blend of old and new material.
The first highlight of the night was Now, Diabolical, with frontman Satyr climbing up onto the elevated section of the stage and commanding the crowd as everyone shouted the title back at him when the chorus rolled around. The band then went from strength to strength, with the following track Black Crow On A Tombstone getting a similarly strong reception with everyone joining in with the vocals as the track progressed.
After this, the band played a good chunk of material from their new self-titled album. I was very interested to see how their new songs would translate in a live environment as I was quite harsh on the album, and they really didn’t disappoint. Satyricon is an album that needs to be heard live to be fully appreciated, and the band put in strong and engaging performances of Nekrohaven, Our World It Rumbles and Nocturnal Flare amongst others.
They ended the first section of their set with crowd favourite The Pentagram Burns, which was a great way to finish before the encore. Full of energy, it seemed to spill directly from the band into the crowd and the pit was a riot and full of movement as the song progressed, and they left the stage as they entered: to a humongous roar of cheers.
The encore consisted of their three arguably most famous songs and the room came alive for one last burst as Satyricon powered through the remainder of their set, with their song K.I.N.G. ending their triumphant set. Shivers went down my spine as the intro rang out in the crowded Academy 3 and you could see that the six performers onstage truly gave it their all. Absolutely phenomenal.
Satyricon were on fire at Manchester, and Satyr himself spoke at length to the crowd that he’d had a great time – and you could tell he truly meant it as he explained how he wouldn’t have bothered saying anything if he’d not enjoyed it! Truer words haven’t been spoken, because it seemed like the whole room agreed with him! A great night from one of Norway’s finest black metal bands.