Sunday, September 18, 2016
Darkthrone : "Arctic Thunder"
Their 16th album opens with a song that debuted on the inner-webs "Tundra Leach" . This one churns at more of a Celtic Frost pace, even when it shifts into higher gear. Nocturno has more of a gurgling gruffness to his voice than we heard on "Underground Resistance". The pick up the pace up to an almost blackened punk charge on "Burial Bliss" . It doesn't really strike me as being as inspired as "Tundra Leach". The guitar tone shifts and things gets darker going into the more NWOBHM guitar melody of "Boreal Fiends" the double bass that swells up in this song is impressive. It also features the first place where cleanly sung vocal surface, though only for a second. The majority of the vocal are in a more Tom Warrior like rasp.
They touch on the more Motorhead side of classic metal with flourishes of almost tremolo picked tension in the verses of "Inbred Vermin". The doomy plunge this song takes is an effective shift in dynamics. There is more of a powerful proto-thrash feeling to the powerful riff that propels the title track. They slow down into and lurk around the more doom tinged riff on "Throw Me Through the Marshes". It eventually builds into a more black metal like passage. The darker cloud that haunts this album hovers closely over "Deep Lake Tresspass" which is one of the album more classic black metal moments. They go back into more of a Celtic Frost like place to close the album with "the Wyoming Distance".
Overall I would say this is a heavier and darker album that takes us back to more of a "Circle the Wagons" like place. I will give this album a 9.5 for me as there are some songs that are going to need to grow on me as "Wyoming Distance" and "Burial Bliss" seem a little more dialed in after the first listen. I have to ask myself when I want to listen to Darkthrone that is not from their classic era of second wave black metal am I going to reach for this album or "the Cult is Alive" ? Only time will tell, however Fans of the band will find this sit well next to their other work.