"The Shadowthrone" is the 2nd chapter in Satyr's story of conquest. He's already conquered the dark castle in the deep forest and is now on a quest to gain control of the Shadowthrone, before he summons the powers of hell to conquer the world with.
This album is my favorite from Satyricon. It is an epic, monstrous piece of work. The Norwegian influences are also here. Out of all the band's albums, this is their most melodic and atmospheric (next to "Dark Medieval Times"). Ah yes, amazing Black Metal this is.
The record kicks off with "Hvite Krists Død", which starts off with a menacing growl for the first few seconds and kicks into a driving, pummeling rhythm. During the last couple minutes, you also hear Satyr and his army of gothic warriors singing Norwegian blasphemous chants as they march through the forest (Yes, Satyr actually SINGS in this album!). "In The Mist By The Hills", starts off with a cool guitar riff and slowly gets faster from there, until it finally kicks into a fast blast beat, where you can almost picture a battle in the dark forest.
"Woods To Eternity" is a very atmospheric song, which creates eerie atmospheric effects in the background over the ripping guitars and drums (as well as haunting acustic guitars). In "Vikingland", we hear Satyr shouting chants of war with a group of Vikings as they ride into battle through the forest (The choir is done by Satyr himself). Again, the lyrics are Norwegian. The ending even has Satyr moaning in a very deep, haunting, melodic tone.
"Dominions Of Satyricon" begins with the beatings of war drums and then kicks into a grooving beat with great guitars. You can almost picture Satyr marching into the domains with his army to reclaim the homeland, with the intense battles being illustrated in the faster parts (including the hyper-speed blast beats before the ending part). After the fight, Satyr summons the northern spirit to protect his lands while he goes to battle for the power of the Shadowthrone, and that's when "The King Of The Shadowthrone" kicks in (it's also my favorite song on the whole album). This is when he puts up a fight with the king of the throne to claim it for himself. When the beautiful folk guitar kicks in and Satyr says, "I am spirit, I am stone, and I am immortal", you know he has won the fight, and thus became the new king of the Shadowthrone.
Finally, the album closes with "I En Svart Kiste" (which translates to "In A Black Casket"). This is the most beautiful work Satyr has ever composed. Due to the name, it can be best described as a feunral theme. I personally think that the album would not be complete without it. There is not much in words that can describe it's gloomy, melancholic beauty.
Satyr's vocals are more similar to "Dark Medieval Times", but this is the only album from him so far that features melodic singing from him. It's quite beautiful and fits the atmosphere well, just as his raspy growl fits more intense parts. His guitar work (along with Samoth's) is also quite technical and fast here. Frost is AMAZING at the drums and percussion, as usual. It also helps to give the songs a more chaotic (when a battle is meant to be illustrated, that is) and atmospheric feel. The keyboards are also the best of all Satyr's works.
The production is good. The sound is a little thin ("Dark Medieval Times", despite the fact it has the worst production out of all Satyricon records, had a thicker sound), but it is still very listenable. The guitar is jagged, the bass is audible, and the drums are always there for the ears. The mixing is also near perfect.
The music itself is epic, well-crafted, dark, beautiful, and complex. Not dizzyingly complex like Dream Theater or Cradle of Filth, but complex none the less. There are strong Viking influences in this album, as well as a touch of Norwegian folk (especially in "The King of the Shadowthrone").
All in all, an AMAZING Black Metal piece no fan of the genre should be left without.