» Cd reviews  
« back

Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

Published March 05 2013

=Staff's pick

Dead Early*
Lesser Men*
The Ones You Left Behind
Come Warfare, The Entire Doom
Leave No Cross Unturned

Genre Black Metal
Nocturno Culto/Fenriz
Tracks 6
Nocturno Culto
Running time 42 Min.
Label Peaceville
Nocturno Culto
Release 25 February 2012
Country Norway
Producer Fenriz
Similar artists Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory

2006 was an important year in Darkthrone history with the release of the crust punk/black metal milestone The Cult Is Alive, which in many ways reinvented the band and pushed the boundaries of the black metal genre. I was rather underwhelmed by the three albums that followed - F.O.A.D., Dark Thrones And Black Flags and Circle The Wagons - and so my expectations weren’t all that pumped up for Darkthrone’s sixteenth (!) album, The Underground Resistance.

However, ten seconds into the album I was intrigued. Dead Early opens up with some amazing black-metal riffs that reek of early Bathory and Celtic Frost - I just wish more black-metal bands would write songs like that today. With a slower pace, more heavy metal elements and high-pitched vocals, Valkyrie stands out from the rest of the songs on the album and while I didn’t really like it at first it has grown on me.

Lesser Men is another song that should make Tom G Warrior proud - the similarities with early Celtic Frost are striking. In general, the crust punk influences are a little bit toned down with this album, compared with its recent predecessors, and instead there are more elements from the first wave of black metal which I think is great. The Ones You Left Behind and Come Warfare, The Entire Doom are decent songs as well but the latter one being almost nine minutes feels perhaps a little excessive. On the other hand, Leave No Cross Unturned clocks in at almost fourteen minutes which kind of takes the edge of my last sentence. It is a good song, very good even, but it could easily have been half as long without losing any impact.

A little trivia: The album’s cover art is done by Jim Fitzpatrick who has done many of Thin Lizzy’s covers but is without a doubt most famous for the iconic two-tone portrait of Che Guevara. The cover art above is pretty small but at full size it is really an impressive work with lots of detail.

Some hardcore black-metal fans might dislike the production, since this is probably the most clean-sounding Darkthrone album to date, but I really think they nailed it - especially the guitar sound which is amazing. Although some of the songs could have been shortened to keep the momentum going, this album exceeded all my expectations. I look forward to sixteen more albums!








7 chalices of 10 - Bjorn

Related links: