Review by Luka on November 13, 2001.
This is was certainly one of the hardest hitting albums in the black metal world, and it’s also one of the hardest albums to learn to appreciate! It takes time to overcome Satyr’s dull and over-distorted studio production that makes the guitars seem like noise, and come to appreciate the advanced musicianship buried underneath. With every single listen this album surprisingly gets better and better, your ears will adjust, you’ll start picking up the good riffs and amazing arrangements, you’ll realize that no, your speakers aren’t getting to old, and you will embrace the true kings of Norway.
With "Nemesis Divina", in the true spirit of Norwegian black metal, Satyricon forge an album with a powerful brand of metal sound that simply blows away the competition. This is probably the perfect album to summarize all black metal, it’s nothing innovative, artsy, or avant-garde, just downright brutal and unbelievably fast.
Once 'Forhekset' kicks into gear, you’ll realize that you’re simply in headbanger’s heaven. One after another, the amazing riffs and transitions will keep you enthralled. The songs smoothly meld and fuse from melody to melody and eventually progress to a climax of a true epic. 'Mother North', the single, is a perfect example. Satyricon mix the accessibility and the progressive song-structure of black metal with the complexity of death metal, but unlike in death, the guitars are not tuned five steps down so the riffs actually sound like music.
But the problem of the fuzzy production does not completely disappear. Even with all the amazing music I am still often turned off by the general tedious and monotonous sound of the guitars. Maybe I haven’t listened to the album enough times, maybe Satyr likes his music to be a little inaccessible, I don’t know, but the production remains a bad aspect of the album. The greatest tracks, ones that I find myself skipping to when the sound gets unbearable are 'The Dawn of a New Age', 'Forhekset', 'Immortality Passion' and 'Nemesis Divina'.
Bottom Line: The most proper album to summarize all black metal.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.8 out of 10