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Here’s a band that needs no introduction. Well into their 16th album, “The Underground Resistance” once again under the fabled Peaceville Records, Darkthrone continue with indefinite experimentation. If adding punk wasn't enough but also with traditional metal, Darkthrone take pleasure in peeling the skin off of your eyes. Branching further and further and letting the venom take root for it will take you for a fantasy ride.
All the riffs are catchy and memorial. “Dead Early” blends a good brew of traditional and black metal with excellent punk riffing. From there we go into one of the most beautiful songs, “Valkyrie”. This is definitely my favorite for many reasons. In it’s unique way there’s a combination of punk and atmospheric black metal successfully accompanied by beautiful warm-felt vocals. These vocals soar into skies as you ride the heavenly steed. I’d like to call them folk vocals because they sound foreign to the mainland. Clean vocals that glide you to victory. I don’t know if you've seen the movie, “Remember the Titans” but this reminds me of that song they sing when someone departs. That scene where they are all sad and mournful but together. Just listen to the main rhythm of this song and see if you can fit the chanting “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye”. Soulful and in unison, kind of the vibe “Valkyrie” had.
Now we discover “Lesser Men” things start to get a bit sludgy along with the same catchy riffing. I immediately start to think about the likes of Motorhead and High On Fire. The solo sounds interesting, it’s fast but scatterbrained. Just imagine James Murphy playing an ambient solo and underneath it’s layered with a great riff assertively charging. Things start to get interesting in “The Ones You Left Behind”. Try visualizing a mental image of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto in fancy get-ups singing duets up onstage in elegant velvet clothing to a bunch of rich people. That’s exactly what it seems like but this isn't Hollywood instead let’s serenade nature’s creatures out in the Norwegian plains.
“Come Warfare, the Entire Doom” just as the title suggests it start to explore doom metal. They did a rather good job with it as well. Finally comes the killer and longest song, “Leave No Cross Unturned”. The title is a testament to signify that if the previous five songs have not worked for you this one will definitely convert you. Right from the get-go you are slapped in the face with high soaring vocals, Rob Halford style. If this doesn't indent your eyes backwards then I don’t know what will. The vocals are magnificent in its variance. He has this nice accent as he rolls his letters. He shows a varying degree of execution as his voice drops a few octaves and disperses into a few new realms. This song continues it’s effort with doom metal but also speed metal.
Going through “The Underground Resistance” once isn't good enough. You’re probably struck silent and baffled that it’s going to take at least another listen to fully appreciate what you just heard. It’s an acceptable release, you have to admire musicians willing to try different routes with a grand understanding of music. What’s excellent about it is its accessibility. I've already mentioned it before but the riffs are catchy and fun. It’s definitely one I see myself playing over and over.
Originally written for http://www.metal-temple.com/