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I was looking around at an HMV for some black metal stuff which was tough considering there was only the stuff I heard, but that's another story for another time. That story however lead me into buying this CD by Darkthrone knowing it's a black metal band. Little to my knowledge the band went to a more punky and thrashy sound with black lyrics. Now I am a fan of thrash metal and hardcore punk at times, but I really didn't expect this from Darkthrone and I was hoping for the traditional black take. This album is seriously a hit and miss but there's it's good points and it's bad points within it.
The songs all were very thrash styled but had some elements of doom, heavy, crust punk, and well duh, black. It mostly stayed towards the thrash and it was like Darkthrone were trying to be Slayer or any of those more evil sounding thrash bands with songs like "Leave No Cross Unturned". From my research after I bought the album I learned this album was a tribute to the speed, heavy, thrash, and doom bands out there, which it felt too much like Darkthrone was trying to be something they weren't. (And nobody likes a rip-off band.) I will say, I did listen to the crust punk by Darkthrone and I don't think it's that great so that really just adds to the fiery confusion of an opinion on this release. Some bands happen to begin leaning towards another genre and ditching the previous one only to the fan's knowledge to learn they start to sound not so interesting. (Metallica, I'm looking at you here.) This really seems to be the case with the actual musical content of this release because it felt like the most generic thrash ever and it was really hard to actually get myself to keep listening and enjoy it. For instrumentation, the drums were mostly just fast-paced with certain times they'd be slower, and the guitar was just like an early Slayer demo to be bluntly honest. Vocals, or just everything recorded; sounded very half-assed and like they really didn't give a fuck about the quality of the song structures like "Screw it, this will be good enough." and had a few more beers so they could forget this was their own album they just recorded.
The actual case of the limited edition mediabook is really nice. The artwork is done well, it's very solid, and the booklet inside has some interesting things. (Such as that long ass list of praise in Norwegian.) The photos in the booklet are quite well done and of course the lyrics are in there too if you actually enjoy the album and want to sing along to it. In terms of the packaging, they did quite the job though it would have been nice to get some little item in there like a Darkthrone patch or whatever memorabilia bands like doing for their merchandise. I also really felt Darkthrone's use of their logo is going to throw people off, considering that logo looks very much like black metal and not like anything they've recorded on this album. (People really pay attention to small details, and logos are one that's looked at heavily.)
Really, what I think of this album is that it really depends on the person listening. I didn't exactly enjoy it but I didn't hate it, and sometimes it's a little fun to hear, even if it's not the Darkthrone I know and enjoy. If you're a fan of Darkthrone's crust punk and non-black stuff, you'll probably like this. If you're more for Darkthrone's black metal, this really isn't worth the time and you'll most likely be disappointed unless you also listen to thrash. This is a solid 50% rating for me because as said earlier, really depends on the person listening. Personally, I don't think Darkthrone should have ever moved away from black but times change and we still have the old releases of their black metal days.