After the last Darkthrone album many of their early fans dropped off, saying that this is punk and has nothing to do with metal anymore. That may be, but didn’t Darkthrone always change? Didn’t they always go their own way. Their backcatalogue exists out of extraordinary albums that have been pushing the boundaries of black metal. And with success. Agreed, this is more ‘punk’ than “A Blaze In The Northern Sky”, but at the same time, it is as black and pure as the albums from their heydays.
Fenriz’ love for 80’s metal and punk (whether it is Jaguar or Hirax) starts shining through their songs more and more. But, besides this, there is quite a touch of Fenriz’ former project Isengard in here, especially the first song almost could have been a song from that period. Whatever you like to call it or whatever you see in it, their trademark sound is all over the place and very much recognizable as such. As with many of their albums, the songs are a bit of an ill-assorted collection of ideas but just seem to fit together seemlessly. It has to be said that these tracks have a bit more bite and sound more coherent than on “F.O.A.D.”, yet, it misses a chant-along hymn like ‘Canadian Metal’ – or it has to be the ‘Hiking Metal Punks’-track. Eitherway, this is only a logical response to their ongoing (and obvious) evolution, whether you like it or not. Darkthrone is just Darkthrone, with their own distinctive sound which is both regressive of nature as well as sophisticated in their own respect.
The vinyl is not that easy to come by, Peaceville seems not interested in selling them to distributors or mailorders, and since their webshop only works with creditcard it might not be accessible for everyone. But if you can get a copy… don’t miss it!