Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review; Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance

Track Listing;

1. Dead Early
2. Valkyrie
3. Lesser Men
4. The Ones You Left Behind
5. Come Warfare, The Entire Doom
6. Leave No Cross Unturned

Darkthrone's fifteenth album could be approached somewhat wearily by those who are aware of the recent experimentation that the duo have embarked on over the last three albums before it. Many people did not take well to the crust punk influences that Darkthrone brought into play, considering their background as an influential Norwegian Black Metal band. Listening to The Underground Resistance, however, gives a sideways nod to the band's Black Metal history.

The album is not what one would expect from Darkthrone at all, but it is a brilliant and welcome surprise. The overall feel of the record takes you back to the days of the First Wave of Black Metal, and bands like Mercyful Fate, Venom and Celtic Frost. The vocal styles given by both Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are reminiscent of King Diamond and Venom frontman Cronos, ranging from barked vocals right through to the very unexpected high falsettos. There's also a real feel of groove to the music; the forefront of which is absolutely massive riffs that sound more fresh than a lot of modern band's recycled catalogue.

The Underground Resistance is by no means a Black Metal album in the same respect as the likes of Transylvanian Hunger, so any listeners that are hoping for a record like that will be disappointed. This is a Heavy Metal album, through and through. No frills, no bullshit, straight up metal that could easily have been recorded in the early eighties. The production is raw but not unnecessarily raw like a lot of 'kvlt' Black Metal albums, there is the right amount of polish to the production job that the album is listenable to both casual listeners and the metal connoisseur.

It's difficult not to get over-excited when talking about this record, as it is a brilliant breath of fresh air for the modern scene. Darkthrone have proven that they are true masters of metal. It makes you wonder if there's any form of metal music that they couldn't turn their hands to and forge into something amazing. Darkthrone have brought their A-Game on this record, of which the only real fault I can find is that it isn't long enough, and leaves me screaming for more when the sixth track "Leave No Cross Unturned" draws to a close. Get this album! NOW!

Rating; 9.5/10

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