Album: The Underground Resistance
Record Label: Peaceville
At this point in their career, Darkthrone are having fun... and why not?
Just like 2010's "Circle the Wagons" you can almost guarantee a spew of hyperbole surrounding Darkthrone's new album "The Underground Resistance" that includes such self- righteous and near snobbish assertions as "Darkthrone aren't black metal any more" or "Darkthrone have just become a parody of themselves."
The speculative listener could find evidence of both in "The Underground Resistance." At some points it even seems like Darkthrone are everso conscious of the criticisms, and with one wide smirk across their faces are playing up to the reputation they've garnered in recent years. However, more than anything else it sounds like Darkthrone are doing whatever the fuck they want, and are having fun doing it too.
"Dead Early" has a cascading, upbeat riff which then twists into the kind of punky rampage you could almost expect from Black Flag. "Valkyrie" starts off with a slow burning soundscape that isn't as epic as they'd like it to be but then follows the same punk rush as its predecessor, with the vocals appearing almost purposefully bad.
The 13 minute closer "Leave No Cross Unturned" traverses from an epic power metal rager into a rollicking black 'n' roll riff, and the song changes enough to just about remain interesting for it's entire duration.
Ever since 1992's "A Blaze Under the Northern Sky" Darkthrone have been held in the higher echelons of Black Metal prestige and influence. 15 albums into their career, it doesn't necessarily feel like they have anything else to prove, and although it would be nice for them to still be producing classic albums, them exersising the right to have fun on "The Underground Resistance" feels somewhat justified.
Key Tracks: Leave No Cross Unturned, Dead Early
For fans of: Bathory, Manowar