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After a few years of not releasing any content, Darkthrone has finally released their latest album "The Underground Resistance" and I must say right off the bat that this album is nothing what I expected at all. It is no surprise to us that Darkthrone has a tendency to jump around metal sub-genres quite a bit. First they started off with death metal on their debut album "Soulside Journey", went black metal with albums like "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" and "Transylvanian Hunger", then released a series of crust punk full-lengths like "The Cult is Alive" and "Fuck Off and Die". Now that the fans have been comfortable with their crust punk approach for some time, the band has made a change yet again with this release. Instead of playing their usual punk mixed in with black metal, they are playing a traditional '80s speed metal sound. It sounds awesome and it also reveals a side of Darkthrone that seems unique or new to the ear.
The album contains six tracks, all of which are amazing. For one thing, the sound is the same old Darkthrone we know and love. Sure, it sounds better in terms of production quality and the music itself sounds more clear and concise, but make no mistake that it still has that '90s black metal, low-quality feel that Darkthrone has put in their albums for years. As for the music itself, it reminds me of Judas Priest or Megadeth in their early years. If you disagree with me then it's safe to say that they at least sound a little bit like Destruction or other bands of the like. You can't really compare Darkthrone to them, but they at least come close to their sounds and music style. Second, the tracks all have this powerful kick to them; they all sound like they have taken a step up in their distortion, power, and have more of a kick ass quality. Their previous installment, "Circle the Wagons", was a fairly powerful release and comparing it with this album, it sounds as if the band were aiming to make "Resistance" sound ten times more powerful and stronger than the rest. They certainly did not disappoint here.
Finally, I really like the fact that Darkthrone didn't ditch their roots. You listen to any song from this album and you will know straight away that it's a Darkthrone track. They still have that Darkthrone sound and vibe that they've always had. The crust punk vocals are still there, but they seem more refined and sound much better than previous albums. The guitars and other instruments are what you'd expect: the conventional Darkthrone at its finest. Don't get me wrong here, this album sounds way better than the last three or so albums they've put out. Everything has been improved musically and in terms of sound quality.
There's a downside to this album. Maybe it's just me, but I would've liked to have a few more tracks on this release. To me, six tracks seems a little short. I personally believe that we've waited for the new Darkthrone album for three years or so and to only get six tracks out of it seems a little bit unfair to say the least. Then again, it makes sense why the track "Leave No Cross Unturned" is thirteen minutes long in length to make up for the lack of songs on the album. Perhaps I'm being a little selfish and just enjoy with what we've been given by these Norwegian legends. Believe me, I'm enjoying every second of this album. Still, a few more tracks would be nice. We just crave more from these guys and it just goes to show that they have done a great job on this album.
"Resistance" was a real track and all the tracks really stood out on their own. Every single one sounded powerful and unique. I really enjoyed songs like "Valkyrie" and "Leave No Cross Unturned", both of which were orgasmic to the ear. It makes it sound like the legendary Darkthrone has returned to melt the faces of their fans once again. I certainly can't wait to see what the dynamic duo conjure up next. I hate to jump to the next thing, but I'm merely excited what their next album is going to sound like. Darkthrone never ceases to amaze me and others and this album easily is a competitor for the album of the year category. To sum it up, this album kicks major ass and I highly suggest you buy it and make it a part of your collection. You won't regret it.