This album is 17 years old. How well does it stand up to the test of time ? We are about to find out Darkthrone is a band who has evolved over the years. This finds them still as black metal band but perhaps not black metal in the way they had previously helped to define it. Cold is the best way to describe the feeling of the opening riff. They were way past blast beats at this point and into their raw punky Black n Roll feel. The vocals have more of a croak to them . This over all sound seems to have influenced Inquisition a great deal. They do build into more of a gallop. The pace to the second song picks up which is more typical of what can be expected of Darkthrones less blast beaten days. I did not say Darkthrone's post black metal days as this album still feels black metal as do all but maybe the past three.
"Fucked Up and Ready to Die" has more buzz to the tremlo of the riff and nastier scathing vocals. The song slows into a much more powerful riff.They return to the more Celtic Frost pacing and stomp along into the next song. This one kind of drones on. The guitars summon a more sludgey atmosphere while still in the ball park of black metal. The drums are a little low in the mix ghere as the guitar dominates. "Divided We Stand" is closer to black metal of today. It meets at more of a punk place , but the buzz saw guitar is totally black metal. The vocals have a more tortured rasp to their croak,.There is more of an uptempo punk feel to "Striving For A Piece of Lucifer". The guitar is a little sloppier here, not that they have ever been about precision. If you are a punk looking for a starting point for black metal, this song is a good place to start.
This faster punk attitude and sloppiness can als be felt on the last song "In Honour of thy Name". This is not my favorite moment from this band as it is very haphazard. I will give this album an 8.5 it's not the Darkthrone album even from this time period that I listen to the most. As I stated before if you are a punk looking to get into black metal this is a good place to start.