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Satyricon had to start again after Satyr's seizure

Extreme Takeover: In September 2015 Satyricon frontman Satyr suffered a seizure and woke up in an ambulance. The two years that followed would change his life for ever

In September 2015, without warning, Satyr Wongraven had a seizure at home and passed out. When he came to, he was in an ambulance called by his partner, and his world was about to change in ways that he wasn’t at first able to grasp.

“In the beginning, when I was at the hospital in the first few days, I don’t think I fully realised what exactly was going on,” he recalls. “I’m not a naive optimist; I’m a little bit more wary and sceptical, and I like to double-check things. the doctors just said, ‘We’re still trying to find out what’s wrong with you, but we have discovered a cyst in your brain. It’s not cancer or anything, it’s benign, but it’s something that we just need to monitor and take it from there’.”

For an artist so fiercely driven, coming from within a black metal scene that’s always celebrated the power of will and self-determination, Satyr had entered a new, uncertain realm he’d have to learn to navigate from the ground up. “There was one part of me that thought, ‘Oh well, that didn’t sound too dramatic’. But on the other hand, I thought it couldn’t be that great because I felt terrible, ha ha ha! So I was a little confused because someone was saying, ‘Well, it sounds worse than it is and we’ll keep track of it, and if this takes a turn for the worse then we’ll have to do something more drastic’. But I was thinking, ‘Why is my pulse 32? Why am I in such a terrible shape all over and why has my body shut down completely?’”

The specialist Satyr was referred to offered some perspective, explaining that the symptoms he was suffering were fairly common for the condition, but it was the beginning of a long and ongoing road back to full health that’s called for various lifestyle adjustments, and it’s given him new perspectives in the process.

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