Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Darkthrone : " the Underground Resistance"

I have dubbed this week as Black Metal History week so it's only fitting that we start off with this new Darkthrone which in many ways is a tribute to the history of black metal. It might give you a headache to spend too much time getting caught up in the fact this album was created by the same icons of black metal who made the Transylvanian Hunger album, no matter how Cvlt you are it defined the genre. Darkthrone is still making black metal. It it's by way of 1983. There is so much Merciful Fate worship going on here it risks sounding like In Solitude. If you know how I feel about all things King Diamond than you can't really expect me to be subjective on this, despite some of the unoriginality going on here. To be fair the also bow to Venom, Celtic Frost and Sodom, which are influenced that have been present since they started making this black n roll. I wouldn't classify this album as black n roll, it's not rock but straight up metal.

This is their most well produced effort, it helps capture the time capsule. It can also be said this is their most accessible release to date, though they can't be faulted for maturing as songwriters. The guitars sound great with enough girt on them to still maintain their indentity. The drums sound very crisp, though their is enough of a lo if feel to them in the way the kit itself sounds. The bass is the most well produced instrument on here nd it could just be due to where it sits in the mix, like the got the memo from Cronos thAt to get the Venom sound the bass needs to be super present.Speaking of which the opener "Dead Early" does focus more on the side side of things though when the guitar riff cuts in it has a little "Curse of the Pharohs" to it when the rest of the band gallops in behind it the song takes on. More of a Venom feel. The vocals are ore croaked here than growled and can only think of once song where I would consider the vocalto hold any measure of harshness.

The acoustic guitar at the intro of "Valkyrie" is certainly new territory . The riff leads in with a majestic latter day Bathory feel, but the vocals are when the Mericful Fate comparisons come into play. Similar to In Solitude in the fact rather than mimicking the quick register shifts in sticks in King Diamond's more mournful midrange. We have heard Nocturno sing in this manner before but it seemed like it was more for a place of parody, here is is takingn a more honest stab at it, and it's a better preformance than we have heard in the past from him, his pitch is iffy and often flat, but things like the awesome end of this song tend to make you if not forget then forgive this sort of thing.

The Merciful moments pick up on "Lesser Men" which has a "Descrcration of Souls" feel to the riff at first, the vocal to in a more Tom Warrior direction. While these comparisons come up, we are talking about the awesome bands who influenced the genre and too have their styles blended into something which still retains the more modern sound Darkthrone has adapted the post - Total Death, though plenty will argue they sold out after Panzerfaust. "The ones you left behind" stays in the Fate range, though at time I can hear Dianno era Maiden. The strained falsetto screams are more Dianno than Diamond, as Paul struggled to get up there where the King made it sound effortless. This one batters forward pretty relentlessly and all of the songs carry the aggressive attitude Darkthrone has assumed after putting aside the conventional black metal trappings of the second wave which they he
Ped to establish.

"Come Warfare, the Entire Doom" is return to the crypt of rays, as the Tom Warrior impersonation takes over. The riff Moves forward more like Motörhead than Celtic Frost, the solos are great and this is th closest to their black n roll sound as it does carry that swagger with it. My favorite Keith Richards quote is " it's better to steal than to barrow because when you barrow you have to give it back" I think their theft of the eighties is bastardized enough to make this still sound like this era of Darkthrone at least so I don't feel they need to give any of the riffs back as while comparisons abound they have made it their own.

"Leave no Cross unturned" the song that garnered some Internet buzz before the albums release has the more Fate sound. The falsetto yodel at the beginning is similar to what I brought up earlier, I like the more aggressive nature nature of the chorus that keeps them from being a Ghost or In Solitude, and the have both bands on the metallic stong of the balls they are hitting you with here. While this closer is twelve minutes it doesn't drag and keeps heads banging throu out which can be said for the entire album , the only reason I can't give this a perfect score is the strain and pitch issues in the vocal delivery that I try to over look so with that in mind I will give this one a 9.5, I think if fans of old school metal catch wind of this album it will win them over and it is an album I'm able to let play all day if I'm not thinking about . So good job it might wear its way on me over time to become a ten.

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