Darkthrone is a Norwegian heavy metal band. It formed in 1986 as a death metal band under the name Black Death. In 1991, the band embraced a black metal style influenced by Bathory and Celtic Frost and became one of the leading bands in the Norwegian black metal scene. Their first three black metal albums—A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Under a Funeral Moon and Transilvanian Hunger (sometimes dubbed the “Unholy Trinity”) — are considered the peak of the band’s career and to be among the most influential albums in the genre. For most of this time, Darkthrone has been a duo of Nocturno Culto and Fenriz, who have sought to remain outside the music mainstream. Since 2006, their work has strayed from the traditional black metal style and incorporated more elements of traditional heavy metal, speed metal and punk rock, being likened to Motörhead.
Tundra Leach—-Forget about intros and slowly stepping into this new release. From the first second of play, you are smacked in the face with a wall of sound and a barrage of noise. The vocal quickly follows….at least somewhat understandable for now. There are nice chord changes and the music never lags…leaving you trying to catch your breath…this is epic.
Burial Bliss—-Delivered at the onset with a blistering speed, you could get a bit confused as to who you were listening to….until the classic vocal puking occurs and leads you down the path of brutality. This is classic speed metal with nice guttural vocals thrown in to keep it all legitimate. I really like this track.
Boreal Fiends—-Well, the intro to this track is a bit odd. A dark funeral march welcomes us to the track…bass heavy with nice drum high hats to boot. The vocal enters and the rhythm guitar leads the track into ensuing mayhem. The pace is fast….but the down tempo movements give it a lot of body and allows it to sound different than anything else on this release thus far. Brilliant…..the sound…although dark and dense still manages to sound crisp.Even a few ‘clean’ vocals thrown in for good measure!
Inbred Vermin—-Again, we are greeted by a speed metal driving guitar pace that defies logic. The vocal…still true to the Norwegian sound is betrayed by the less than stellar backdrop. The rhythm guitars are stellar though….giving the song a nice body mid way through before the speed increases again and takes us down a different path again. This is a bit schizophrenic to me.
Artic Thunder—-Beginning with a classic heavy metal sound, again I am amazed at all of the different sounds on this release. The only steady consistent sound is the vocal. There are a ton of vocal effects and overlays on this song….making me curious to how it will play live. But this is a pretty beefy sound….nothing like the Darkthrone heyday….but 16 releases in….give then some credit. I hate how some of these tracks just fade away to nothing.
Throw Me Through The Marshes—-Classic….the dark sounds of the music provokes cold imagery and allows you to delve a bit more into the Black Metal vein. The vocals are pure gutter…..but match the marching plodding music masterfully. I like this track a lot…it is much darker and true to form.There is speed involved….but the tempo changes keep you from getting to bored.
Deep Lake Trespass—-Back to the speedier delivery of the music, I wish the drums were more in the forefront of the mix. They seem to be so buried in the production you only ctch the annoying cymbals crashing away. The lead guitars are blistering….and the vocal stellar. But there is little new territory here.
The Wyoming Distance—-Ending the release with a bass driven intro, the music quickly becomes chaotic and a bit miss- matched to the vocal for me. I don’t hate this….but the sound is too everywhere……not a great song…..leaves you with a bad taste to the entire release.
*** out of 5