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Nothing Special - 75%

WilliamAcerfeltd, April 5th, 2007

Despite what people say, I don't think this is the definitive black metal album which everyone says it is. In my opinion that award goes to fellow Norwegian black metal band Emperor for the album "In the Nightside Eclipse." Now, I love black metal, having said this, one might be surprised that this album, until recently, wasn't in my metal collection. To be perfectly honest, the only reason I got this was because it did so well in the black metal survivor game (corny reason I know) but I digress.

I had a pretty open mind when I listened to that album; actually I was pretty eager to listen to it. I had heard some other stuff by Darkthrone "Under a Funeral Moon" which was shit (easily the most overrated album, second only to the abomination itself, Drawing down the Moon) and some samples from "Sardonic Wrath", which didn't impress me that much either. Based on that, I was expecting some pretty fast, in your face raw black metal. But it wasn't There are no really fast songs on this album which I think is definitely a thumbs down. If the songs had been faster this album would have been way more interesting.

As for the songs themselves, they aren't really all that bad. From what I've heard of Darkthrone, the songs are usually quite repetitive this basically equates boring, unless the riff is reaaaallly good. As implied the songs have a lot of variety and the riff structure changes around a lot. But then again, the songs are quite long on this album. Had the riffs been repetitive, then this album would have been a dead loss because slow songs + repetition on long songs is just flat out boring.

Nucturno Culto's vocal performance is decent here. Not as good as it was on "Under a Funeral Moon" and "Sardonic Wrath", but still passable nonetheless. It's rough and grim which suits the style of this album. What really more needs to be said?

Darkthrone get a lot of credit for this, i.e. their raw, grim production which certainly gives this album a pretty cool, dark atmosphere. Unfortunately on later albums they took this a little too far. But here it is fine and certainly is a strong point off the album. Frankly the album would have been a lot dryer if the production had been crystal clear. If this had been the case (good recording), the album probably would have been way different and the reaction to it would have been a lot different.

In summary, yeah this album isn't bad, but there honestly isn't much on here to scream about. Sure the songs are good but not that good. I'll admit it, I haven't listened to this album much and maybe after a few more listens I'll love it. (If this is the case then I will rewrite this review.) However as it stands this album is nothing special.

Conclusion: I would recommend you buy it, only if it's cheap, 15 dollars and under. If not just download it as it's pretty accessible.

Aside: (When was this album recorded? This site and some others say it was recorded in 1992, but the inlay of the album says it was recorded in August 1991? Even more confusing is the fact that on the inlay it says: "A Blaze in the Northern Sky is eternally dedicated to...Euronymous.” He was killed in 1994, at least 2 years before this was even released. Perhaps it's a re-release?"