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To The Death. - 58%

Perplexed_Sjel, March 29th, 2008

'Ravishing Grimness’ is a continuation of the demise of Darkthrone. Most people have long since given up on a band that are often classed as legendary in respect to their early material. Is it a case of Darkthrone losing their identity over time? Seemingly so. Evolution of a band is nothing new to any of us, but I’m not sure anyone could have foreseen the demise of this band when, for example, ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ came out. There are times when things seem too good to be true, or some might even say slightly ironic. For instance, Darkthrone’s lyrics. Are they meant to represent the downfall the band have experienced over the years?

“In the Water of Life the Circuits are breaking
Eons of Numb Hopelessness Lies Ahead.”

Lyrics like those seem to equate to what happened to the band as a whole. For many fans, hope was lost when albums like ‘Goatlord’ came out of the works. Whilst their journey has continued, the fan base has weakened significantly. Whilst ‘Ravishing Grimness’ doesn’t represent the absolute worst that Darkthrone have provided us with, it’s nothing short of bland. There are no redeeming elements about this album, it’s another one that simply exists for the sake of existing. One would imagine, if perhaps, just perhaps, Darkthrone took a longer leave of absence to develop their material, may be they would come up trumps? It seems to be a long shot and not a feasible solution to the band’s problems, but as band’s release more and more material quickly, a growing number of fans tend to grow tired of their work. It’s happened here, if you ask me.

Darkthrone are a band that never seem content with what they’re doing, thus the reason they decide to change their style so often. If they’re not content, it’s a feeling that does tend to wash over the audience. This album seems awkward at times, if anything. It’s as if Darkthrone are almost completely out of idea’s and are resulting to an old style whereby black metal is crossed over with a thrash style. Most people tend to call it black n’ roll. It’s a sub-genre, which going by Darkthrone’s music, seems to lack any real substance. The percussion element of ’Ravishing Grimness’ is severely struck down. It’s just incredibly irritating. The only variation we’re offered are when double bass is brought into the picture, but that’s hardly inventive. If you’re going to take a thrashier outlook on music, it must be creative to withstand the test of time and this just isn’t. On the entire album I can only really pinpoint one song I really like, that being ’The Claws Of Time’. Otherwise the vocals are lifeless, the guitars may as well cease to exist as they offer so little to the audience in the way of atmosphere and the percussion is as lacklustre as it gets. Again, this isn’t the worst Darkthrone album, but it’s by no means good.