without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
To be honest, I bought this album completely on a whim. I had just decided I wanted to delve into black metal, since a few friends of mine listened quite frequently when I was around, so I decided to go a bit deeper than just the tidbits I heard from them. I knew Darkthrone was supposed to be some excellent BM, I decided to pick up [i]Circle the Wagons[/i], figuring I’d be getting some pretty dark and frostbitten stuff. I had no clue that Darkthrone had written anything but BM. I was shocked when I put the album into my CD player on the way home from my shopping excursion, and had no idea what to think. I didn’t dislike the music at that time, but it certainly wasn’t what I was looking for then. I immediately shelved it and forgot about it for a few months. I had run out of things to listen to and noticed [i]Circle the Wagons[/i], and decided to give it another shot. I listened to the album at least four times a day for almost two weeks after that. A blind buy quickly turned into one of my favorite albums.
One of the first things I noticed about the over sound was the production: The level of the vocals, guitars, and drums, perfectly complimented each other: Nothing was overpowering anything else, and I found that this particular type of balance that the album provided was something I hadn’t quite heard before, and something I immediately wanted more of. The energy that the album was recorded and written with is almost tangible while the album is blasting through the speakers, and fills the listener with that same energy, this positive, raw energy. Not very many albums, metal or non-metal, have made me feel the way [i]Circle the Wagons[/i] did.
Upon the first spin, I was shocked to hear these punk/heavy metal inspired riffs. They are a perfect balance in between punk and heavy metal that I’d never heard before, creating a totally unique sound. Along with the riffing, I loved the guitar tone that was used; it sounded very raw, and a little muddy, but with just enough bite to it to really cut right through and sink in. The drumming was good, a bit simple, but I really don’t think it needed to be anything more than what it was, and definitely nothing less. The only thing I had any real issue with was the vocals. I liked the tone of Fenriz’s voice , but some of the harmonies he chose were a bit odd, and some of the raspier/shouted vocals sounded a bit too forced. Other than those few things, I really liked the vocals.
Over all, this album was a complete surprise, and a great one at that. I went in expecting one thing, and got something totally different, yet better than I could have hoped.
Stand out tracks:
Those Treasures Will Never Befall You
Running for Borders
Circle the Wagons
I Am the Working Class