While I can say I'm again impressed by Darkthrone 's thick authenticity as they return "to their roots" on Arctic Thunder , I also think people would be a lot less forgiving towards the generally unimaginative and amateurish material if it was literally any other band playing.
Darkthrone have embraced this self-conscious "fuck the scene" mentality as a sort of armour. You could criticize them all you want, but it wouldn't mean anything.
They're doing exactly the kind of music they want to make at this point in their lives, and to their credit, you can definitely hear that youthlike passion in almost every album they've made.
Arctic Thunder did come as a surprise. Even if it's scarcely different than the slower-marching black metal they did on Hate Them a decade ago, they had given every reason to believe that the Darkthrone name was now permanently dissociated from future black metal recordings. I suppose calling it "black metal" in the purest sense would be wrong; even if this is the closest they've gotten since Sardonic Wrath , you can still tell they've been listening to true heavy metal more often than not.
The riffs are perfectly capable and plenty ballsy, proving that a passion for the classics is usually the most important thing involved in crafting heavy metal riffs. I'm most happy for the fact that Nocturno Culto's vocals are back in full, and they sound just as pissed off and aggressive here as they did on Panzerfaust. Even if Arctic Thunder comes across more or less as another Hate Them informed by all of the vintage 80s worship they've concocted since, they haven't lost their fire for their craft.
At worst or best though, you pretty much know exactly what you're getting with a new Darkthrone album. It doesn't have much in common with The Underground Resistance , but while this feels a league more authentic than the over-the-top heavy metal ham of that album, the riffs and songwriting aren't nearly as compelling. Don't get me wrong, I am glad that Darkthrone are back again; for the "truer than true" niche they occupy, there isn't anyone else to fill that void.
I don't think I would be any better or worse off if Arctic Thunder hadn't happened. It is decent riffs and truth to form. I'm not surprised people were so excited when it first came out, and I'm not surprised that the excitement has all but vanished less than a month later. Originally written for Heathen Harvest Periodical.
Ever since their creation already three decades ago, Darkthrone has been mastering the metal arts. It seemed like a collection of good riffs without a cohesive feel or actual songs. I kept trying though as I knew the magic was there somewhere. The album was on constant rotation in December and January and turns out my understanding of it was waiting for me by the campfire.
With a judgmental look on its immaterial face, the record pierced my soul and I finally understood it. The album is like a strong imperial India pale ale, it contains a looooot of hops and it fills you up to the brink.
The amount of riffs it has is almost criminal. I do think that some songs could had been longer but the tightness and the contained attitude is what makes this record so great.
Perfect metal guitar tone. They took the sound developed on their previous five full lengths, mixed things up, pushed the black metal aura to the front and just went for the jugular. In this case, it came back as evil as before, hungry, angry and with a curious interest for hiking and camping.
Nocturno handles almost all of the vocals on this record and it adds to the darker and murkier atmosphere they were going for. It made me want to sing the title while walking in the snowy roads of my city. The quasi lo-fi production of Darkthrone has reached its peak here, I absolutely love the tone of the guitars and the drumming is both natural and loud without being overdone. They can channel Iron Maiden check out the intense title track , their buddies of Aura Noir, Celtic Frost or even Sabbath without breaking a sweat.
Making relevancy an unknown concept, the Norwegian duo aims for excellence and memorability and they succeed at both. Arctic Thunder is timeless, precious and essential metal. Metantoine's Magickal Realm. There is a certain dependability that comes with a new Darkthrone album, because even when there is a big left turn in their stylistic direction, they always seem to find themselves in the same bleak and decrepit place.
One might discount their auspiciously unsung debut masterwork Soulside Journey given its wildly more technical character and atmospheric keyboard usage, but even there the general picture of a frost-covered wasteland with a few dreary funeral pyres blazing in the distance tended to show through, at least in hindsight. Within this generally consistent context, there have been a few recent surprises to keep everyone guessing, be it the sudden shift towards a crust-punk sound on The Cult Is Alive and the foray into epic-tinged metal in the mold of Manilla Road just a couple years ago with The Underground Resistance , so expectations seemed to be that Arctic Thunder would present a few surprises of its own, and in a general sense that has occurred.
This album generally reflects the past-conscious heavy metal character that has tended to paint much of Darkthrone's work to varying extents in the past 10 years. It is Rock-n-Roll after all, and Darkthrone has been nothing but consistent in paying homage to the roots of Heavy Metal — all of it, in fact.
Seriously, do not listen to this on a subway, or in a library, or anywhere bouncing around into objects and people might be frowned upon. Darkthrone manipulate what is essentially a simple song structure and keep it true, real, and marry melody to maleficence with all the thirty plus years of their songwriting skills.
That repeated opening riff with the nice drum roll resolves itself into a great Nocturno Culto lead. His guitar tone sounds similar to what Destroyer are doing on their own new album. It is apocalyptic and melodic, altogether a treat for even the longest standing and most cynical bastards among us. NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service.
Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends.
Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves.
At first, it slams your eardrums with some staccato plucking before spreading itself out and smashing its way to the end. While these four tracks support the record, the other four drag it down. Throw Me Through The Marshes 7. Deep Lake Tresspass 8.
The Wyoming Distance.Arctic Thunder is fairly enjoyable as a nasty metal record but there isn’t much else to say about it. Darkthrone only really bring to the table the simplest, chunkiest thrash metal riffage, and the most basic pounding drum style. Its name is derived from an obscure 80s band, and it’s the first album only to feature Nocturno Culto on vocals.