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Raw, Old School, and enjoyable at the same time - 80%

drummingnerd99, March 2nd, 2017
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Peaceville Records (Super jewel box)

I'm not a black metal guy at all. I've just never been able to fully get into the genre like I have with my beloved death metal. Maybe it has to do with the division that early black metal and death metal bands had with each-other back in the day? I couldn't tell ya to be honest. However, one band that I've always thoroughly enjoyed is Darkthrone. Darkthrone were actually the first black metal band I heard. so maybe I just expected too much from the other bands of this genre? Because Darkthrone write these beautifully dark, cold, and absolutely raw sounding songs, while also not forgetting to not drag the song out longer than it needs to be. Or maybe it's the atmosphere they create? Who the hell cares right? BUT, that all changed with the release of 2007's Fuck Off And Die (Or F.O.A.D for you politically correct bastards).

F.O.A.D is Darkthrone's first attempt at *gasps* changing their sound up?!?!?!?! Yes you fool! Gone is the cold, atmospheric, raw sound we've all grown to love and expect from dear ol' Nocturno Cult and Fenriz. Instead, we have a much more interesting combination of sounds found on this album. The best way to describe it is black metal meets speed metal. So basically, think Motorhead meets Venom meets Metallica, and that's what your in store for musically on this album. And wouldn't you know it, the boys pull this style of music off well. Don't worry, there's still plenty of black metal style to be found throughout this album, but it's more in the production and the overall atmosphere of the riffs being created, rather than the whole thing being a black metal album. (I'm gonna get crucified for saying this probably) but I like this style more than I do their later black metal material that ended up dominating most of their discography after Transylvanian Hunger. The title track is the best example of this. This song is a straight up Motorhead and Venom tribute, while also not forgetting to add their own sound. And I think that's what really made this album for me. Rather than become a joke band by doing this kind of music *cough* Evile *cough* Warbringer, the band instead use their influences to create something that's truly raw, dirty, and totally raw rock and roll. In fact, I'd label this album as more of a rock album than a black/speed metal album. Yes, Fenriz does bring the speed metal style to the table with his drumming, but it's more of a rock album because of the more groovy, mid-paced, and simplistic style of his drumming that is showcased throughout the album. Seriously, listen Splitkein Fever and try and tell me otherwise, I really want you to try and dissuade my opinion to the best of your abilities, it ain't gonna work.

The other positive I have towards this album is that Nocturno Cult and Fenriz sound as though they're genuinely having fun playing this kind of music. Yes, they've always had passion when creating music, but if you ask me, the band somewhat lost their energy and passion after Panzerfaust, because at that point, it seemed as though Darkthrone began to get a little TOO comfortable with the style of music they were playing. And for anyone who wants to argue with me about this, name one song aside from A Wind Of Sorrow, that's at least the one bit memorable, because to me, it all went downhill after that. Here, Darkthrone took a BIG risk by trading in their black metal style for the one found on here, and it paid of well. You can just feel the alcohol dripping from the speakers when you listen to these songs, and it really makes for a fun listen. Darkthrone clearly knew what sound they were looking for on this album, and they went for it, and for that I got nothing but respect.

In conclusion, Darkthrone's Fuck Off And Die is their best album in years, and for anyone looking for a good black/speed metal/straight up rock and roll album, I suggest giving this album a try. Drink a beer, smoke a joint, and crank this bad boy up! This is rock and roll in it's ugliest form.

Darkthrone find their passion again. - 75%

ConorFynes, February 26th, 2016

F.O.A.D. is a fucking ton of fun. It's inevitable that any talk of Darkthrone's unlucky thirteenth LP would involve putting two cents into the great "style change" debate, the likes of which seem to have haunted their fandom since their shift in 2006 with The Cult Is Alive. F.O.A.D. is the album where Darkthronefully realized their transition from cold black metal to their tongue-in-cheek blend of all things traditional, classic and true. A lot of the stances other "crust era" fans have used to defend this album are pretty misguided, but I can favour the artistic seriousness of their classic records and still get a major kick out of this. After years of relative mediocrity, F.O.A.D arguably stands as the best album these guys had done to date since the '90s.

F.O.A.D.'s detractors call it obnoxious and silly. I've heard it even said a few times that the over-the-top brand of self-awareness made them a parody of the band they used to be. I can't bring myself to disagree with most of that. F.O.A.D. is an album that was probably written with the intention of filling the beer-swilling regaliae their records had been host to from the virtual get-go. Instead of making music about being evil, they're making music about loving music about being evil. Unsurprisingly, that push into meta territory has done a lot to change the tone. Where before they were hateful and seemingly nihilistic with the '00s albums, the lyrics here are excitable. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto don't want you to fuck off and die-- not really, at least. Instead, they want to share their passion for a classic musical aesthetic.

F.O.A.D is a true-to-form tribute to the sorts of bands Darkthrone listened to while they were growing up. This would appear to be a step down for a band that once codified a cutting edge genre two decades prior through sheer invention. From a broad perspective, it certainly is, but this is what Darkthrone needed. Part of the reason F.O.A.D. is so compelling is because they were struggling with finding that inspiration. The last wholly worthwhile recording was Ravishing Grimness in 1999, and even then some people could rightly accuse it of being inferior to the material they wrote as young men. I think this goes to show why you don't see any longlasting black metal bands with fully consistent careers. A misanthropic air and "fuck the world" attitude is undoubtedly more natural coming from a youngster. These two were fast approaching middle-age. A no-frills passion for hard rock and heavy music is more simplistic than their darker themes, but that's clearly what it took to light a fire under their asses again.

Even if you hate seeing the quintessential black metal band turn in their guns for something new, I'd challenge a hater to say these guys don't sound leagues more excited about what they're doing than the string of albums before it. Darkthrone's best work emerged from a desire to do things their way, and for all its supposed triteness, there's a lot of fun to be had here. It's arguably the first time in Darkthrone's history where I've been specifically impressed by the songwriting itself. "These Shores Are Damned", "Canadian Metal", "F.O.A.D." and "Raised on Rock" are the sort of infectious earbugs that will force an "Ough" out of you before you know it. While The Cult Is Alivesounded like a compromise between what they wanted to do and what was supposedly expected of them, F.O.A.D is uncompromising through and through. It's got the DIY rehearsal tape vibe that is perfect for this sort of greasy metal. There are no illusions that it's somehow a notable artistic achievement, but this was the first time in ages that Darkthrone had felt truly dangerous, maybe even since the time of Transilvanian Hunger.

Darkthrone needed this. F.O.A.D. goes to show that it's never age itself that kills passion or creativity. It's circumstance. It's complacency. It's that inevitable feeling of needing to play a role you've already arranged for yourself; after all, exploring new roads is a pastime for the young. Or is it? In truth, the actual sound of this album isn't so much different from their black metal material. It's the tone and inspiration that ultimately sets it apart from the stuff that came before it. Even while I really like this album however, I've been a bit tired of the same rote defences the fans of this era give it, as if not enjoying a new direction is the fault of the listener and a failure to be "true" enough. Darkthrone are some of the sincerest musicians around, but their "no fucks given" attitude doesn't magically exempt them from criticism. Personally, I'm a pretty big fan of Darkthrone's early black metal and easily prefer it to this, but I've never been so obsessed with that sound that I'd be heartbroken if they changed it. For a band like this, the question shouldn't be about which genre is better, but how well they pull off a given style on a given album. If their quasi-crust era had turned out lame the way The Cult Is Alive suggested it would be, I would be the first to shrug it off as a misguided decision. No, F.O.A.D. is exactly the sort of album Darkthrone should have been making at that point in their lives, and as a listener, there are certain situations where no other album will do.

F.rom O.ld A.rchaic D.esserts - 70%

Felix 1666, November 13th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Peaceville Records (Super jewel box)

A few albums offer fantastic tracks exclusively, some outputs present just good stuff in a pretty homogeneous manner. A third category gathers the albums whose tracks vary widely in terms of quality. The last type of albums is difficult to evaluate. Thank God, "F.O.A.D." gives me the chance to practice the description of these works.

Darkthrone have written some excellent tracks and the production is powerful and smelly at the same time. It displays a fairly adequate sound, albeit the album was recorded during a lot of different sessions. The result is that the production wins no award for homogeneity or consistency. But this shortcoming is widely compensated by the special attitude of the Norwegians. They were never afraid of a more or less rotten mix. This way of thinking also affects "F.O.A.D.". Due to the slightly mouldy character of the sound, the songs do not lack of a certain quantum of dirt. It fits the nasty guitar work that drives the highlights of the album. For example, the forcefulness of the riff which leads to the chorus of "The Church of Real Metal" is simply brilliant. It finds its way through the ear canals into the darkest corner of the brain in an irresistible manner and says that it has come to stay. The solo orgy at the end breaks the chains of the strict configuration of the track and adds the final touch. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto behave like snotty brats who do whatever they want. In this case, the outcome is more than impressive. In other cases, the stubbornness of the crude duo leads to relatively meaningless results, as much as I regret it. The album suffers from a handful of songs which fail to come to the point.

Thank God, the amazing "Canadian Metal" does not belong to these tracks. Quite the opposite, this star sparkles brightly at the dark and cold Norwegian firmament. Its lyrics praise the metallic pioneers from - surprise, surprise - Canada. In accordance with this historic issue, the straight track appears as a trip into the past. Endowed with an iota of insanity, both the leads and the chorus are absolutely ingenious and the band seems to fly at the end of the song. A fascinating outburst of primordial vehemence. Too bad that the majority of the remaining songs dwell in the realm of mediocrity. Neckbreaking riffs and memorable moments hardly emerge. Instead, insufficient guitars and a lack of coherent song-writing show up. Tunes like "The Banners of Old" pass by without leaving any trace and the slightly punk influenced riffing of the title track does not yield an impact as well. More tracks remain inconspicuous or suffer slightly from the crude humour of the band (the fairly acceptable "Raised on Rock" reveals a more or less moronic vocal performance). Only the two already described highlights, the grumpy opener and the solid "Splitkein Fever" keep the album above water.

Compared with their groundbreaking albums, "F.O.A.D." stays in the background. It is no flop, but too many songs fail to enthuse me. They seem to be carelessly designed. I do not wish to offend the duo, but it is difficult to avoid this impression. The band should take this seriously, because a credible, down-to-earth attitude belongs to its greatest assets and archaic songs that try to preach the rules of the old school deserve exactly this kind of attitude. This is the tragedy of "F.O.A.D.": all of its tracks originate from the dusty heavy metal wastelands, but some of them just do not work.

So, you think you can rock. Well, you can... - 90%

autothrall, January 28th, 2010

Judging by the increased speed by which they are releasing new material (their most productive period since the early to mid 90s), it's become clear that Darkthrone are quite happy with the new direction they've taken. The Cult is Alive was only the loading station, and with F.O.A.D. (you know what it stands for) the band would move further down the tracks into a new territory. Yes, this album represents the biggest change in the band since they dropped the death metal and got their black on in the dawn of the 90s, and yet, it remains strangely loyal to all the band has accomplished to date. Change is never a bad thing so long as its a well planned departure, and the decision to let the classic metal and punk influence play a more central role to the songcrafting has opened up a new realm of possibilities.

There are a surprising number of subtleties here, through the guitars in particular, which might not have been possible on another Transilvanian Hunger or Hate Them, and the rock focus here really leads the band into a fertile pasture. They've already mastered black metal, several times in fact, so what more could they do with it? This is your answer. Equipped with the new 'Mr. Necro' mascot on the cover (Deathhammer logo in tow) and a new approach to their lyrics which is at worst forcibly silly and at best pretty cool, they strap on for nine new tracks that run the gamut from the vile and muddled to the spry and wistful.

"These Shores are Damned" is a superb opener, with a graceful, classic sense for melody translated through subtle speed metal rhythms and groovy drumming (not unlike something Deceased might write). When Culto begins to bark out the verse, though, it shifts back to a pure, rocking Darkthrone rhythm, and there's a great, popping melodic lick which breaks out before 2:30 in the track which transforms it all into so much more. "Canadian Metal" is a pretty amazing song, making better use of their Hellhammer-inspired rhythmic slamming chords than they've had in years. The lyrics are a little hokey, but fun, as they name-drop a bunch of song titles from Canadian legends like Razor, Piledriver, Sacrifice and Slaughter. Being that I'm a pretty big fan of several of these bands, it is hard not to applaud the tactic, though I haven't enjoyed bands using it before (I remember Seven Witches doing something similar and it sucking awkwardly). At any rate, the song itself smokes. "The Church of Real Metal" follows, and while part of me thinks the band might be taking this too far, the song itself is actually not some shallow Manowar-athon, but a brooding and dimly lit doom rock anthem with some great, depressive atmosphere created through the melodic guitars (and I think a synth is in there). The term 'metal' is only uttered with the actual song title, as the chorus, so it could have been much worse...

"The Banners of Old" is another track in which you can hear a clear influence from doom bands like Sabbath, Black Widow and so forth, but it quickly spins into a groovy, grinding speed/death riff which is extremely catchy, as Culto's thick vox slobber all over it. "Fuck Off and Die" is loud arena mayhem rock, similar to AC/DC but with an even more bluesy twist to it, with Fenriz performing some corny and soulful vocals that slowly pull you in, even if you don't want them to. There's a nice, melodic doom break in the middle, one of the best riffs on the entire album. "Splitkein Fever" has a quiet, thumping beat layered in churning, grungy gothic deathpunk guitar lines, and it's quite effective with the lyrics, though the 'flies to a pile of shit' cliche did come across a little forceful.

'I have my world here
You think you are right
But you can't touch me here
The forest is cold and white'

"Raised on Rock" is probably the "Too Old, Too Cold" for this record, the true anti-poseur anthem. Some might find the lyrics a little too blunt and obvious, but that had to have been the point here, and the raw vocals and dark punk rock riffing make it all quite sinister. "Pervertor of the 7 Gates" is big doom metal, and here Fenriz puts a ghastly twist on his Tom G. Warrior vocal aping, though the hooks alone are not the best you'll find on this record. F.O.A.D. goes out on a high note with "Wisdom of the Dead", one of the most beautiful tracks the band has written in years, with a soaring death melody and a slowly grinding central rhythm that gives way to a morose, necrotic atmosphere, and some further melodies that arrive and dazzle later in the song. Even if I were to ignore the rest of the record, this song alone is proof positive that Darkthrone's new direction is a success, because where on one of the previous albums would you hear this? Possibly on Total Death, but the production would be far different.

F.O.A.D. is a fantastic album, but even at its apex, it is still only the footprint for the giant boot in the ass masterpiece to come in the following year, Dark Thrones and Black Flags, the band's first flawless work since Transilvanian Hunger. But there are 6-7 songs here that belong on any Darkthrone playlist, from the hell fueled "Canadian Metal" to the more lurid "Wisdom of the Dead" or "The Church of Real Metal", or even the balls deep "Raised on Rock" and "Splitkein Fever". This is some pretty intriguing shit, and honestly, if even the most stubborn expatriates of the Darkthrone camp could set aside their crockety old badger dispositions for 40 minutes, they would find something here they might really enjoy, even if just in fun.

Highlights: These Shores are Damned, Canadian Metal, The Church of Real Metal, Raised on Rock, Wisdom of the Dead

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Try it out, or just fuck off and die! - 100%

Werewolf, December 22nd, 2009

Before I heard this LP – the only Darkthrone's full length I really liked was their debut, which is a Death Metal masterpiece that has nothing to do with BM. When I heard about the NWOBHM (New Wave of BLACK Heavy Metal) single and heard the song “Canadian Metal”, I knew that this time there’s something very different to expect from this duo, so I bought a copy blindly. I was surprised when I saw these guys praising epic bands like Manilla Road in the booklet, but I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with an album that features “Canadian Metal”! I was also impressed by the great cover, made with simple black ball pen by the great artist Dennis Dread, which also supports the young Norwegian Thrash duo “Deathammer”, whose patch is drawn on Mr. Necro’s vest! Like the cover, the music is primitive, Punkish and simply screaming Fuck Off And Die!

This LP is not about humor, but straightforward honesty! You can feel it in the riffs, the really cool solos and in the frustrated and angry vocals as well. It’s still Darkthrone to the core, the basic (not as basic as in Transylvanian Hunger though) drums and the utter grimness can still be felt in this raw music, but you can hear that it’s done from the heart! It’s written and played by adult people who dedicated their lives to Metal, not people who try to sound grown up by mixing other genres that don’t fit!

It’s easy to notice already in the 1st song “These Shores are Damned”. Angry and most important – sarcastic mixture of Metal and Punk! Then “Canadian Metal” kicks in, featuring some slight “Morbid Tales” touch in the music, which is far from sounding like the cult Canadian Thrash bands they praise in this song (Piledriver, Slaughter, Sacrifice, Obliveon), but who cares? The main riff is catchy as Hell and the solo is cool, and even Fenriz’s high pitched screams fit the atmosphere! These guys know how to play, when they want to! The song “The Church of Real Metal” is slow paced and has its epic feeling, especially in the solo. Manilla Road and Manowar should be proud! “The Banners of Old” has a similar structure, starting slowly and dramatically and later being played at slow-mid-temps.

Black Metal? Heavy Metal? Speed Metal? Punk? No boundaries exist here, everything is mixed, creating together the angry shape of the beast called DARKTHRONE! The last song on side A is “Fuck off and Die!”, which is probably the most catchy and memorable here. A great collaboration of hatred and sarcasm with raw and simple Rock N’ Roll and pure Punkish “FUCK YOU” attitude!

Side B opens with “Splitkein Fever”, another anthem of frustration. Songs like this should be listened to while being alone in a forest, far from the majority’s idiocy. Welcome to planet Darkthrone! A world that these 2 peculiar personalities built long ago, a place to rest from the crazy everyday life! An anvil to forge their ideas, without giving a flying fuck about what others might say! “Raised on Rock” is another old-school anthem, praising pre-94 Metal! Could it be more Rock N’ Roll than the scream “Let the strings burn!”, followed by a riff a la Twisted Sister’s “Tear it Loose”?! No way! “Pervertor of the 7 Gates” and “Wisdom of the Dead” have similar structures to those of TCORM and TBOO from side A, which are pretty calm, but impossible to bet bored with. And now it’s the time to switch the side and give this masterpiece another listen, hehe!

When all is said and done, this is in my opinion best Darkthrone’s album since SSJ, if not the best EVER! Honesty is in season in Norway nowadays, when every once mega-satanic Norwegian BM band plays music that has basically nothing to do with the 2nd wave BM they used to play in the 90’s. I heard that those who know Fenriz well, say that he is a person with a great dose of humor, so I guess that what this band created in the 90’s should not be taken too seriously, whether you like the music or not. This album though, sounds like a confession, without trying to hide anything from the listeners. Give this album a chance, or just FUCK OFF AND DIE!

Crust punk from hell! - 95%

majko, September 2nd, 2009

I have loved Darkthrone since first listened to their music. I remember it was Cromlech, thus a death metal album and I found it really good. After I listened to albums such as Transilvanian hunger or Panzerfaust, which are for me among the best black metal albums ever. And now, as they entered a new era with their album Fuck off and die! or better the previous album Dark Thrones and Black Flags I like them even more.

Although a legend as Darkthrone is capable of simply changing genre of music, they always have enough originality with them to expose. In fact, FOAD is not regular crust punk as Disfear and all other D-beat groups. Darkthrone brings something really extraordinary with them. This phenomenon which I have never seen or better heard before is the spirit of black metal. Naturally it is almost impossible to turn back to this music after 15 years of famous history. I like this Darkthrone´s experiment, especially this album.

As I have already said it is a crust punk with black metal spirit. How to explain? If you listened solely to drums you would say it is crust punk, perhaps a bit slow but technically accurate. On the other hand, if you listened merely to guitar or voices, or better, if you felt the atmosphere of them, the sounds, tones and power you would call it black metal.

There is much to highlight in this album. It is not a boring one, not at all although the guitar riffs are rather simple and there are not much of them in each song. But the composition of each song, short but nice solo in almost every song, variations of the rhythm, nice play with stereo and a lot of originality in lyrics make this album a masterpiece among crust black metal punk albums, not only because this is perhaps the only band to play this genre but also because this much of great music at one CD is difficult to find.

Something for which I didn´t give 100% to this album is a fact that majority of songs´ melodies and atmosphere are always more or less pessimistic. I know this is a proviso of black metal music but crust punk songs are rather fast, powerful, happy perhaps and this album seems to me as if it was recorded after 10 hours of digging a grave for your loved relative, i.e. as if the guys were really exhausted and sad of something. Perhaps I shouldn´t have praised the influence of black metal although I find it quite interesting. On the other side there are songs that make you move so there is enough to chose from.

To conclude, I find necessary to say that this album is really only for those who like black metal AND crust punk because I don´t think liking but one suffice.

Dirty Old School Sound - 83%

PutridWind, October 19th, 2008

Darkthrone seem to be one of those bands where it takes a while for people to catch on to what is going on with them. After their change from death metal to black metal it took several albums for Darkthrone to assert themselves as a force in the Norwegian Black Metal scene among legendary names such as Burzum and Mayhem. Once a few albums had been released in the new black metal style most people began to appreciate the new direction. I would have to say that F.O.A.D. is a new starting point for Darkthrone, and that I would not be surprised if after a few albums the bands new style is being praised throughout the (pathetic) black metal scene.

Lets face it, Darkthrone have been ripping themselves off for years, since Panzerfaust in fact. Of course albums like Ravishing Grimness have been genuinely good efforts, but in general the band has only been able to maintain a mediocre (by their own standards) level of quality on their albums since Panzerfaust. The change in direction is a welcome one, since we all know there will always be hundreds of bands trying to be Darkthrone anyway, so there will be no shortage in albums that copy the old Darkthrone even though the masters themselves are moving on.

This album is very decidedly not black metal in the modern sense. Perhaps Darkthrone are going back to what the genre evolved from on this album. The music is dirty, ballsy, and heavy, often with some thrash influences. This can be easily supporter by the fact that most of the music that Fenriz listens to these days is (said by himself) old thrash and heavy metal, mostly from the 70s and 80s. The sound comes through here, and the influence is welcome. Sure the people duped into thinking Xasthur is what black metal has always been will be confused by this album. But if we look at albums from the earlier days of black metal this CD may not seem as odd as most think it is. Just look at Quintessence on Panzerfaust, it is a very similar song to what can be found on this album.

The production is typical Darkthrone, drums sounds as if they were recorded with no more than two mics with loud open hi hats and very basic rhythmic patters. The tempos are mid paced and fully suited for headbanging and having a few beers to. Some are a bit slower, and this tempos give us a chance to hear some bass work, something not very common in a Darkthrone album. The guitars are dirty and distorted, playing simple riffs that use their basic driving rhythms to really make songs heavy. The vocals are the most interesting aspect, they are pretty high in the mix, and are not the usual growls of Nocturno Culto. The growls are still there but there are also some clean vocals that appear and are used to make the old school sound even more apparent in the mix. There is a falsetto part on "Canadian Metal" (I think it was this track) that is so kick ass I can just see Nocturno and Fenriz rocking out in their cabin with a couple beers playing old 80s vinyls.

Maybe this new attitude of the two is what has been such a hard thing to accept for new fans on this album. It seems they are not trying to make "grim" albums anymore (they always were two of the most laid back guys in the black metal scene). They are trying to instead pay some homage to the music they listened to back in their early days that inspired them to start their musical career in the first place. Doing this, they may have anticipated a backlash from the strictly black metal part of the fanbase, and perhaps this albums title is addressed to those listeners "Fvck Off And Die!".

Black Viscosity - 89%

marktheviktor, August 9th, 2008

For the last couple of full-lengths, Darkthrone has made it pretty clear that they are no longer much interested in playing straight black metal. If The Cult Is Alive was a charred serving of sheet fed crust, then F.O.A.D is pure sludge funneled from the mighty ‘Throne. The resulting commodity is pure black gold, plain and simple. While other bands are busy trying to “bake a cake” with their black metal, Darkthrone is only concerned with “making bread” as the band once famously stated. This album is the breaking of that bread, however sweet but succinct.

Fans still waiting for another Transilvanian Hunger will be left waiting in the ‘forest cold’. Let them freeze. And if those listeners have already gone on their “Hunger” strike by not picking up this delicious piece of pastiche by the dark duo, may they starve in that forest white because this is no St. “Hunger”. This is back-to-the-basics metal by a band who blackened the line between the thrash and black genres. In the early 1980’s, the space between that line was a dark yet dingy gunmetal grey area. With Transilvanian Hunger, they took black metal to a 180. With F.O.A.D they do a 360 to dwell in the dingy grey where it all started. Now, for most bands, this kind of skating is on a slippery slope on the thin ice of pretentiousness. But Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have demonstrated on this album that their influences are as immovable and crude as the Norwegian tundra itself.

The album kicks off with These Shores are Damned. Not only is this one of the best openers that I have heard in recent memory but this track, guitar-wise at least, is a thesis statement for the tone that will be set for the rest of the album. It contains a doom metal riff in the middle and towards the end of the song. Classic doom that is, none of the ridiculously down-tuned nonsense that pervades so many bands of the “doom death” metal variety. Those types are damned. Listening to this song, I only realized that These Shores Are Damned awesome and the metal marines have landed with a vengeance.

Besides being a fistful of hammy (Canadian Bacon?) dynamite that is Canadian Metal, Darkthrone messages two things with this song: 1.) Tom G. Warrior is a pure metal svengali and anyone who disagrees can jump in a cold lake. 2.) After 14 years, anyone who is stupid enough to expect F.O.A.D to be an exercise in puritanical grimness is as fickle as a Quaker during a Pennsylvanian hunger.

Upon hearing Church of Real Metal I thought to myself that this song could be called Cities on Flame with Black and Roll. This cut is just another sign of what the following songs will offer in attitude. The next song is Banners of Old. This track along with Splitkein Fever is as close to straight on black metal that you will hear on the album. Banners of Old is more black metal in its lyrical content than its structure. Splitkein Fever has the traditional cold tremolos that define the more characteristic works by DT. But if you listen closely to the bass and drum pacing along with the intentionally off key vocals, it still is very much an old hardcore punk song at heart as much as it is traditional black metal.

This brings us to Fuck Off and Die which is also the meat of the mantra on this record. This is also a song that never ceases to bring a smile to my face. If you don’t know the tribute here on this one, you better go back and listen to it again. Fenriz takes the vocals on here in what is one of the most genuine attempts at crude inspiration that I have had the pleasure to listen to on a metal record. Could we be seeing more of the enigmatic Hank Amarillo in future releases? Only time and tribute will tell.

Raised on Rock is another ubiquitous nod to Celtic Frost. It’s almost as amusing as the title track and it makes a good companion piece to it. It’s a fitting track to guide the caboose of the last two songs on this frozen freight train. If you listen to Pervertor of the 7 Gates and Wisdom of the Dead, you will be most pleased to discover the brilliant to-do-list: Give an IOU to you know who. Tip the Butler. Pay the Bill. Praise the Prince. If I need to spell that out to you then you shouldn’t be listening to metal.

F.O.A.D may not be as grim as the ashes but it’s as brash as the remnant chimney of a stave church that stands over them. And it’s still as black as the soot that lines it. Then again, Darkthrone needs no justification or apologists for their newest material. It is well known that they play music for themselves. I am only too happy to go along with their offerings of old school influences. No one has toppled the ‘Throne and it’s lonely at the top.

Surface/Interior Dialectic - 91%

ben_parker, May 27th, 2008

On one hand, this is the most accomplished guitar-oriented album of 2007, and on the other hand, the gatefold of the LP jacket is a giant photograph of a forest scene obscured by a can of Heineken and someone's knee. The album cover is horrible; the album title is worse; the song "Canadian Metal" is unforgivable garbage; it's barely a metal album, even less a black metal album.

The most notable two things about this album, aside from all those appalling negatives, is the painfully-apparent desire to broadcast how into punk the band now is: the single for the album had a Testors cover; they cite Poison Idea, the English Dogs, and Amebix, and Fenriz is wearing a World Burns to Death t-shirt---all this from a band that previously was the most rabidly "orthodox" black metallers! The second thing is that Fenriz, the drummer, now sings on nearly all the songs which he writes (where previously Nocturno Culto, the guitarist, did ALL the vocals). Weird change to make this late in a band's career.

Everything I've said up to now makes it sound like a completely different band than that which recorded the sparse and ultra-monochrome Under a Funeral Moon.

That is not at all the case, though. This is classic Darkthrone. Or classic Celtic Frost, depending on how well you understand Darkthrone. It's true that Celtic Frost released a "comeback" album this year, titled Monotheist, but the best Celtic Frost album of every year since 1991 has been recorded by the band Darkthrone (or more recently by High On Fire).

Darkthrone were already releasing "hardcore"-style songs on the album Hate Them, but it is only recently that this has become full-on crusty gutter sleaze. All the songs written by Fenriz are ludicrous, punked-out "rockers," while the biggest irony is that the most "Darkthrone-sounding" songs are all written by the band member who did NOT write their classic albums. See?

Ok. So. Surface: black metal album by respected and original black metal band Darkthrone. Inside: cheesy slow rock album. Surface: cheesy rock album. Inside: insidious Celtic Frost influence. Surface: Celtic Frost influence taken to ridiculous extreme. Inside: bizarre regression to riffs from 3rd Darkthrone album. Surface: Return to sounds from their 3rd album. Inside: 3rd album already a rip-off of Celtic Frost. Surface: lifelong debt to Celtic Frost. Inside: This debt split into a schizophrenic songwriting labor that isolates the two ways that the Celtic Frost influence operates on their sound. Surface: songwriting labor split, vocal duties split. Inside: most ridiculous sonic aspect of new album is not this division, but rather the numerous and not-at-all-"metal" guitar solos on every track.

In conclusion, this has to be a concept album about irony and presentation. We might even say it is about what happens when the most "true" black metal band starts spelling it "tr00." But the real joke is on the listeners (the same fools who were left in the dust when Dylan went electric) who did not see this irony as quintessential (no shit) to Panzerfaust or in the band's originary moment, the abandonment of death metal on their second album.

last note: Fenriz's vocals are so unsettlingly bad, until you realize that they are exactly splitting the difference between Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost) and Cronos (Venom)--essentially an impersonation. I would love to say that one's appreciation of the album rests on whether one likes "Canadian Metal" or not, but I don't pass that test myself, so...

Rock out with yer cock out! - 85%

rarrrgh, December 24th, 2007

To me, Darkthrone may as well have created the black metal textbook. How they specialise in creating generic music, and still sound so great, and dare I say it, original, still baffles me to this day. They are experts in representing everything I first loved in Black Metal, and now, they've decided to cut things right back to the skin and bones, and create some raucous ruckus of an [almost] straight down the line Heavy Metal album. This album drunkenly swaggers from track to track with catchy riffs and ridiculously over the top vocals, shrieking and all. The production sounds fucking great, and it really does make you want to rock out. I just have to make sure I don't headbang too much while I'm driving!

The bottom line for me, is that this albums rocks out, and it's obvious that it's a pure tribute to everything they love in Metal. I just wish I could put my finger on some of the things I love in the genre myself, and actually identify/qualify them in some coherent way. This is where Darkthrone are true masters! The text on Transilvanian Hunger that warns listeners that the album is above criticism holds true for this album. They can do whatever the fuck they like. (just to go off-topic here, I though Sardonic Wrath was worthy of critiscism. It sounded tired to me, like they didn't know what they were doing with it. I guess they were in two minds about carrying on with the textbook general BM, or rocking out more like they have chosen to since)

I do have to say that, with me being English, the guys use of the language makes me laugh. In some ways the use of slang in metal sounds naive to me, but they do actually sound like they're using English English. That might be seen as stupid, but it's the kind of stuff my fellow islanders would come out with. When compared with a lot of other bands, even English bands, the accent/language sounds kind of neutral, avoiding modern cultural dependence, but this is different, so it's so strange to hear them shouting and screaming like this. I'm sure they're no strangers to these shores after hearing this album. It sounds like they've spent many a moon in the pubs over here!

I've enjoyed going through some of the 'top ten' that both guys list in the liner notes too, especially Cirith Ungol which is very new to me, and I had to nod in agreement at some of their other choices too!

I don't really want to give a percentage, what the fuck would it mean anyway? I put 85% in just because I think this is pretty damn solid. Maybe there's room to wonder whether it can stand the test of time like so many of the classics it harks back to. I usually find catchy albums wear off quick. Will Darkthrone go down in history along with greats like the ones they hail? Do I give a fuck? Did those bands give a fuck? Do Darkthrone give a fuck? Of course not!

Parasites to be wiped away - 100%

Diarrhea_Face, December 17th, 2007

What the fuck is this? Man Darkthrone have totally gone mainstream. They sold out!! They are posers!! FUCK OFF AND DIE!!!!

My interest for Darkthrone ceased with Panzerfaust, I still kept somewhat up to date, but for the most part the curiosity for them and their music was gone. I heard F.O.A.D. was causing a stir so I decided to check it out. Well right from the start I couldn't stop laughing. They really don't give a fuck anymore and that's what makes it so great. They are from the real generation, they were one of few black metal bands and they will always remain on top in my mind. Every step they make is always miles ahead of the rest. They were playing this 'black n' roll' when nobody else was, now it's the trend of Scandinavia and increasingly across the world. F.O.A.D. is just the continuation of their earlier thrashy elements stripped of the droning black metal riffing. It's minimalistic, it's raw, and it has the real metal punk attitude that most music of today has forgotten. In a scene of masks, stagnation and pre-pubescent internet warriors Darkthrone laugh, take a sweaty beer shit and bust out some killer hellbanging chaos!

Nothing is lacking here for fans of 80's thrash, punk and rock bands. They basically did a Probot, by which they took signature styles of the good old bands (Metal Church, Venom, Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Piledriver etc.) and put them into a sort of compilation.

I couldn't find anything wrong with this album. The production is that of a well produced 8 track rehearsal. The only thing that's clearly processed are the vocals, which vary in every imaginable way, from the standard ugh's, to falsetto wails (courtesy of Fenriz) and of course the signature growls of Nocturno Culto; which are albeit noticeably, though no doubt purposefully tamer than before. This actually fits the album well however. For the duration Nocturno looms over the podium and despotically mocks the mindless herds which have gathered beneath his feet. As the crowd jeers and spits and tears itself apart he closes his eyes and proudly dismisses them with a brush of the hand.

The drumming is damn good although relatively basic. Fenriz has been on the radar for percussive creativity since displaying his talents on the Land of Frost demo back in '88. Well nearly twenty years later he proves again to be one of the best. His playing style is extremely fluid, with great attention to the subtle intricacies which really make or break a drummer. He knows when and when not to play on the beat and with this he combines a phenomenal sense of groove. The guitar work is again above and beyond. Nocturno Culto must have sold his soul to the devil because it seems every riff he conjures is impeccable. Even with Darkthrone being such an old and influential fixture in the world of metal he still manages to keep ahead of the pack and really that alone demonstrates just what kind of talent he possesses.

To sum things up, if you're tired of sifting through the countless piles of shit and would like a bit of refreshment, then pick this up. To me there's not a ton of replay value, but who knows, either way it's fun and with the proper volume and alcohol ingestion you'll find yourself right where you need to be...

Fucking fucked up album. - 5%

NocturneFreeze, November 30th, 2007

I must confess that I'm still a newbie to the tr00 and kvlt black metal bands out there. Those early bands that were still considered by some to be death or thrash. Of course, Satyricon is not unkown to me, either is Mayhem, but bands like Darkthrone... Not heard yet... until now. F.O.A.D., a "subtile" way to hide the actually title (Fuck off and Die) is Darkthrone's newest album. There are no traces of black metal in it. Not to say it's bad, I have an open mind for bands to experiment. It's just... This experiment is not a great succes, and I'm being soft right now.

To critizice this album on the same niveau is not only a hard task, but also one of the weakest excuses to sound as blunt as possible. It's almost as if Darkthrone wanted to dispell every sense of emotion on this album. And while some may argue that emotion is not important matter in heavy metal, this just reached the bottom. F.O.A.D. is a rusty piece of fucking metal. A blunt way to entertain headbangers. An unenjoyable piece of work for the ones whose opinions are that emotion is an important factor in music. For those, it would likely to happen that they will find it shittier than dog poop.

But how can a band be as emotionless as this is? Quite easy, actually. Have the cliché heavy metal riffs present, a screaming vocalist and some shitty drums under it. It would all work if the production was clear, like it's the case with Satyricon's Now, Diabolical (which can be enjoyable at times), but here, it's not. To make it sound even more rough, Darkthrone contained the production of their earlier years, a production that doesn't fit with Darkthrone's new goal.

Now this is a blunt piece of shit. There is no reason to minimize the drums to sloppy groove metal beats. Like the guitars, the drums are extremely simple, very uninspired, and above all, highly uninteresting. Not only has the drummer made many faults with his compositions, the drum sound is bad, tempo's and volume's are uneven and it all doesn't flow with the guitars and vocals. Not that it would matter anyway, the vocals are so dreadful, this album would score higher if it was entirely instrumental. Catch a drunk metalhead who happens to like St. Anger, and ask for an imitation of his almighty lord Hetfield. Most likely, it will sound like this vocalist. There are no grunts, no proper screams, no clean vocals. Only half-assed yells, paining my ears and wondering how one could find this comfortable to listen to. It's almost as if the vocalist tried to sound as fucked up as possible, just to sound heavy.

There are some enjoyable parts throughout, thouh very rare. Canadian Metal has a funny chorus, the solo of The Church of Real Metal is quite good and The Banners of Old features a nice bridge. But for gods sake, the chorus of F.O.A.D. was so bad, whether it be meant to be funny or serious. And on this way I can name ziljions of examples of why I question this band's sanity and musicianship. But I will finish this review with a conclusion on the same niveau of this album.

This album fucking sucks.

Old-School Thrash from the Black Metal Masters - 96%

blackblood666, November 5th, 2007

This album is unfairly reviewed by most. While some “get it”, most just dismiss it. Well sorry folks, this isn’t another “Under a Funeral Moon” or “Transylvanian Hunger”. Get over it. If the listener can quit whining about it not sounding like their old albums, and actually listen to this one for what it is, they will realize that Darkthrone has released a really good album.

The sound of this album is defiantly old school thrash; however, it has a black metal twist that only Darkthrone can pull off. At this point in their career, Darkthrone feels they have nothing to prove and no one to impress. They are just making the albums that they want to make, and that deserves some respect. It’s admirable when a band makes music for themselves and not for the consumer. It’s the opposite of selling out, so I see no basis for the bitching of immature so called “true” black metal fans. The songs all pretty much have a similar sound; the style doesn’t jump too drastically from song to song. Most songs sound like either Venom, Motorhead, or Hellhammer/Celtic Frost songs filtered through Norwegian black metal sensibilities.

The vocals are one of my favorite parts of this album. Nocturno Culto’s voice seems to have changed a bit over the years, and mostly for the better, considering the tone of their recent output. More aggressive, less grim and cold. Very metal. Fenriz does more vocals on this album than usual (if you don’t count Goatlord) and he does a great job. The last album he sounded more punk, but this time around he sounds like Tom Warrior (on Canadian Metal) or Lemmy (on the title track).

The guitars on this album are really good. I’ve always loved the sound Nocturno Culto’s guitar. It’s very crunchy and high in the treble department, and I could listen to it all day long. It’s like music to my ears (literally). The riffs are amazing. Very thrashy, and very fun. Turn this album up and try not to bang your head along with songs like The Church of Real Metal and Raised on Rock.

The bass is audible, which is rare in black metal, but then again this isn’t actually a fully black metal album. Nothing interesting really going on with the bass, but it does its job well and sounds great.. Even though it’s a little simple and unimpressive, I wouldn’t change a thing. This isn’t the kind of album where the band is trying to impress everyone with their “skills”.

I enjoy the drums quite a bit. I have heard some complaints about Fenriz’s drumming. People say it’s too straightforward and ordinary. Listen up people, because I know this is going to blow your mind: Fenriz doesn’t care about impressing you. He plays to fit the music, not to make everyone go “wow he really is good!” He knows he’s good, he doesn’t need to prove it anymore.

Now on to the lyrics. They are the weakest part of the album. Most all of the songs deal with heavy metal or rock and roll. Not very imaginative, but then again they serve their purpose and fit the overall vibe of the album so it really isn’t so bad.

The production is, in a word, dirty. All the instruments can be heard clearly, yet it sounds rough enough to give it that old school, gritty, underground thrash feel that they were going for. For some reason though, Canadian Metal seems to be boosted in the bass department, so I have to turn the bass down when I listen to that song or else the music gets lost under the booming fuzz. All in all, the production is perfect and very appropriate.

Darkthrone’s 13th studio effort, F.O.A.D. (An acronym for Fuck Off And Die), is a heavy metal masterpiece. This is noting to be taken seriously, folks, so just pop in the CD and get ready to bang your head. This is old school, no bull-shit thrash. No pompous arrogance or attempts at pleasing the masses here. Just good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Would you want it any other way?

Throwing Down the Gauntlet - 100%

Thrashohol, October 19th, 2007

I don't often buy new albums, even more so, I almost never buy expensive new albums. But somehow I was able to shell out close to $20 for this oddly encased new release by Darkthrone without hesitation. The reasoning for this choice extends far beyond a compulsion to support a band which has achieved legend status, or to critique and compare this new offering. Quite simply, I purchased this album because Darkthrone is a band that has spent more of their career shattering contentions about what black metal should be, than wallowing in the stale arena of blast beats and corpse paint. I had no doubt that they would continue to push the envelope, fan boys and elitists be damned, and I was not disappointed.

For starters, F.O.A.D. IS a black metal record through and through. However, it exists more in the realm of the time before black metal became a thoroughly defined genre, held down by standards and stipulations. True there is no corpse paint, no minimalist stark black and white photos, no cryptic messages in Old English fonts, but the last time I checked, Venom, the band responsible for giving the genre 'black metal' its name, had none of these things. In fact, they could barely play their instruments, their raw evil sound owing more to sloppy playing and poor recording than cold calculated delivery. What did exist then and exists in this album is a fury and desire to play the blackest, most unchained, and yes, most rocking, music possible.

F.O.A.D. razes the church of black metal to the ground and builds it back up with blood, sweat, and beer. I'd be lying if I said this album isn't a bit of a shock to the system, but this album isn't just a change from the traditional, it's a fucking paradigm shift. The guys start out easy on us with 'These Shores are Damned' a fairly "non-blasphemous" tune, straddling the territory between Total Death and The Cult is Alive, before Hellhammering the senses with the ton of bricks that is the opening riff for 'Canadian Metal'. At this point, opinions on this album are sure to split 50/50, with genre purists crying foul, and fans of raw metal mayhem screaming for more. And more they shall receive. 'The Church of Real Metal', with it's almost Dio-like passage into the shouted chorus, followed by far away keys and doomy riffing. 'Fuck Off and Die' fueled by Motorhead and hatred of those who are quick to judge, but too slow to change. I'll spare you a further individual track breakdown. Suffice to say that this is an album filled with many moments that demand double takes, but make more and more sense with repeat listening. The riffs themselves are untouchable, the solos and leads darkly melodic with touches of the psychedelic, but best of all, everything is kept simple and to the point.

Soap box time. This album is a giant fuck you to a large portion of the world of metal as it stands now. The ideas that only the most skilled of players are fit to create good works, that songs must be epic displays of fretboard gymnastics or mind bending mathematical workouts to be considered of worthwhile integrity. An idea of any kind, in music or otherwise, is the most effective when it is kept to the point, undiluted, unbound by useless tangents. Progressive symposiums, impossible scales, songs comprised of a few good riffs sandwiched by dozens of generic or mundane ones. It's like a huge algebraic equation or formula for quantum physics. Sure we can all appreciate it's complexity, but how many among us can actually fully comprehend or relate to it?
This is black metal. Anguished, evil, angry, bleak, disparaging, depressing music, and not all of it must be detached and cerebral. The primal urge of rock appeals to all of us, no matter how above it we try to act.

Darkthrone is giving black metal back to the common man, the outcasts, the disenfranchised, the unprivileged. Destroying the traditional rules of what is and is not acceptable in metal. Releasing an original and refreshing album, that is both tribute and traitor to heavy metal. And why?
Because they are in a perfect place to do so. They have the clout to release what they want, when they want, with the artwork and packaging they want. Nocturno Culto can release a pseudo-documentary dvd of himself just hanging out, and still release it on a recognized label with worldwide distribution. They released an expensive, elaborate, dangerous album, and even the naysayers still purchased it. This is not an album released to fulfill contract obligations, if it was, it would have been bland and predictable. This is a toss of the gauntlet to the old guard, a battle cry to the numerous underground metal bands playing with more originality and passion than technical expertise.
A cry that only Darkthrone could force the world to hear.

Not THAT Bad, Actually - 80%

Agonizer, October 2nd, 2007

"Soulside Journey". "A Blaze In The Northern Sky". "Under A Funeral Moon". "Transilvanian Hunger". "Panzerfaust". "Goatlord", and, arguably, "Total Death". All classics, a catalogue of releases which span a five year gap from 1991 (Soulside Journey), to 1996 (Total Death).

Here it is, some eleven years later, and Darkthrone are still at it. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are still playing a dirty and controversial form of metal that fans either love or hate, with very little room for middle ground.

Admittedly, I haven't had much exposure to Darkthrone's material post-1996. That is, beyond a few random, and brief listens. Certainly nothing serious, as I am of the opinion that Fenriz and Nocturno Culto could never outdo, or come close to, their work on "Transilvanian Hunger" and/or "Panzerfaust".

In all honesty, if anyone out there is expecting black metal these days that sounds like it did durring the second wave, they're deluded and more than a bit jaded. This goes double when referencing a band who was actually around and recording back then.

No matter how childish some of Darkthrone's lyrics are these days (very!), they're not teenagers any longer. That initial fire in their bellies has long went cold. The only last vestige of those days, is that Fenriz and Nocturno Culto look at making albums from a standpoint of pleasing themselves, not the consumer.

A cop out for Darkthrone? Perhaps, but "F.O.A.D." is hardly worthy to be called Darkthrone's "Saint Anger" either. Although it doesn't live up to Darkthrone's more legendary material, there is at least a part of those greater times preserved here.

Metallica's "Saint Anger" was probably the biggest let down in metal history. Promises were made, and Metallica didn't deliver on one of them. For the most part Darkthrone do deliver the goods here, with "F.O.A.D.".

The vocal tone - the lyrics are proposterous, childish, and just plain stupid - the guitar tone, Fenriz's pattented drums and the all too inaudible bass are all here. Just like in the classic releases, and with much of the same pinache, only done in such a way as to harken back to other (some would say better) bands. Bands such as Iron Maiden, Whiplash, Diamond Head, Holocaust, Motorhead, and Tankard are all given the once over on this album. This album actually has a very Bay Area thrash feel to it because of that. Only "F.O.A.D." is much dirtier, as one should expect from Darkthrone's releases.

If "Panzerfaust" was a Celtic Frost rip-off (you can debate that, certainly), then this one should really come as no great surprise. Especially given that "The Cult Is Alive" was an intentional stab at crust punk. While I certainly found "The Cult Is Alive" to be somewhat of an "Undisputed Attitude", this is actually enjoyable in places.

Again, my biggest complaint over this album is the lyric. I wonder if this is why Varg was such a big contributor to Darkthrone in that department? Certainly, the sound of this album is about as good as one could hope for, beyond the second wave brilliance of Darkthrone at least.

Actually, I'll even venture out and say that some of this album is absolutely brilliant. It's just too bad that an otherwise superb album is tarnished with such a frequently overlooked thing as lyrics. It's not brain science, or rocket surgery, but Nocturno Culto sure makes it look as though this were the case.

As with anything new, I suggest downloading it before you buy it. There's no reason to buy a crap album these days, not when mp3s are so easy to come by anyhow.

The St.Anger of Darkthrone. - 29%

AntaeusOTO, September 30th, 2007

Whoa! Where are all these 90 ratings coming from, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz themselves? Have you people heard this album from beginning to end? I have and this is definitely no 90 out of 100. I keep that rating reserved for anything of Darkthrone from 1990 to 1996. Now is this a black metal record? Hell no, but Darkthrone pass themselves off as a black metal band. Of course they should, they´ve only made their names in metal history playing black metal music. They also made some of the finest works in the genre. I´m all for trying to play music from your heroes but at least don´t pass it off as a Darkthrone album. Jeez, I can only imagine if they had thought of trying to play Uriah Heep style music on this. Are they trying to alienate the thousands of loyal and dedicated fans that have stuck with them for the better part of 15 years? From the looks of the direction in the past couple of years it looks like it.

The album starts off with a nice riff on These Shores Are Damned and its a song that easily could have been off The Cult Is Alive. Canadian Metal is an alright track that could´ve done without the clean vocals in the beginning. In a way it takes away the intensity of the track and almost makes you laugh. The Banners Of Old has an big Black Sabbath influence on it but Nocturno´s voice ruins it which is an absolute rarity since he almost never does a bad job on many songs but here he lacks hatred and intensity. Maybe age is getting to them since the fire seems to have dimmed a bit. They are in their mid 30´s and with real lives. They just sound like they´re going through the motions here and seemingly have to look elsewhere for ideas and inspiration to continue. I have to agree with the poster below who said the title track sung by Fenriz is a joke. Even though Fenriz does a nice Lemmy imitation it should have been kept as a b-side, HIdden from the majority of fans. Which leads to another thing, since when does Darkthrone release singles? Didn´t they stand for everything ¨anti-promotion¨? Oh yes, they used to until they started selling out.

I don´t know these guys anymore. I´m ok with going into ¨new directions¨ as long as it´s good as before or close to it. This doesn´t cut the mustard folks. I almost can´t believe the absurd silly lyrics and even sillier song titles (Fuck Off and Die and The Church of Real Metal). I´d love to know what church they´re going to in search for ¨real metal¨ that way I can send a telegram to Varg Vikernes to burn it down. Oh Lord, I can only imagine what Varg himself would think of Darkthrone today as opposed to when he first went into prison back in ´93. Raised On Rock you guys say? Ok, fine do it under a different name but please stop desecrating the good name of your band. For those of you who haven´t heard this I´ll say that Venom sounds harder than this. Yeah, this from the men who brought necro classics as Transylvanian Hunger , Panzerfaust and A Blaze In The Northern Sky. Shame on you Darkthrone for releasing this half assed attempt at ¨metal music¨ and shame on the two guys who actually gave this album 90 or above rating. I´ll keep my copies of Soulside Journey up to Total Death while I´m giving this cd to my friend who can also hear it and give it a negative review in the future. Pathetic.

This isn't a black metal record kids - 91%

Dark_Mewtwo1, September 29th, 2007

It's funny. It happens to every band that does this, but you can't stop it. Once a well respected black metal band tries something new, here come all the kids saying how this is bad and they lost their way. I thought people understood, with last year's The Cult is Alive, that Darkthrone is just making music they want to make. They want to pay tribute to the bands that influenced them so deeply. Whatever. All that doesn't matter, because once you listen to this record, you'll understand that FOAD is an ode to those unheralded 80s metal bands, and a salute to the bands that took the metal flag and raised it high for everyone to enjoy.

From the opening notes of These Shores are Damned, Darkthrone deliver 8 tracks of classic heavy metal riffs and that beer-fueled, sweat-filled energy every metal fan feels when he hears that awesome riff. These guys aren't just your average 3-chord black metal guitarists, they understand how to create catchy riffs without sounding cheesy, and still make them sound like a Darkthrone riff. Combine this with Fenriz's usual top-notch drumming performance (he adapts so well to the style changes here), and Nocturno Culto's trademark vocals, those gravelly, aggressive, Lemmy-doing-black-metal things he does so well, and you got a winning formula. And the Darkthrone guys went out of their way to point out just who they want to honor here. Canadian Metal reeks of Manilla Road and Iron Maiden's passion and energy. The Banners of Old sounds like it wouldn't be too out of place on an Ozzy-Sabbath record. This all delivered with the intensity that these two men always manage to translate onto their records.

Pretty much, you should know what to expect with this. This is just a fun metal record, one without any lame pretensions or scene ideologies. Enjoy it for what it is, and salute the bands that made Darkthrone, and the countless other bands you might listen to, pick up their instruments and entertain you.

Whimsical uproar - 90%

blackoz, September 22nd, 2007

If you’ve seen Nocturno Culto’s rambling yet oddly compelling DVD “The Misanthrope”, you’ll be on familiar territory here. Slip past the grinning gravedigger Mr Necro on the cover of the CD booklet and you’ll be greeted by (gasp!) colour photos of Ted and Gylve romping in their beloved Norwegian wilderness. The pix could easily be stills from the film. Since the excellent “Preparing for War” box of 2005 the Darkthrone boys have opted to give us more than just a glimpse into their lives. “Misanthrope” even shows them jamming in their studio – yes, the famed room with the tea-curtains – worth the price of the DVD alone. Now, on “F.O.A.D.”, they’ve pretty well invited us around to spend the winter. The lads have even provided an annotated listening list of great but largely unheralded metal albums (so glad it includes Mayhem’s brilliant “Ordo Ad Chao”) to while away the chilly nights.

The personal guided tour continues with Fenriz’ intros to each song, typically tongue-in-cheek, and it soon becomes clear that this is a tribute album of sorts. The punk propulsion of the last record has gone and old school riffs abound as DT hails Iron Maiden, Metal Church, Black Sabbath and Burzum, amongst others. Fear not – it’s unmistakably Darkthrone, although whether it’s a tribute or piss-take you can never be quite sure with these clowns. An example is “Canadian Metal”, a whimsical uproar (to borrow from the lyrics) that features a chorus line of BVs and a Bruce Dickinson-styled operatic trill. Why can’t metal be fun, hey?

There is more musical variety on this disc than any other DT album I can think of. Chorus lines and even a guest vocalist apart, the big changes come in the guitar tones. Ted has decided to broaden his palette and there’s an unprecedented amount of layering without, thankfully, forsaking his characteristic sound. “Church of New Metal” and “The Banners of Old” both sound like a ’throne take on Sabbath. There’s still the trademark chainsaw crunch of Ted’s guitars but the moaning reverbed refrain in the left channel sounds like it came from “Paranoid” era Iommi. It pops up elsewhere and it’s a wonderfully atmospheric sound to fatten up the album.

Those who mourn the passing of the old necro sludge of “Transilvanian Hunger” may take some consolation from “Splitkein Fever”, the guitars intentionally muted down to sound like the old days. Even Ted’s voice sounds more organic and less gravelly. When they rip into the fast double-kick refrain you’ll think it’s a long lost track from the corpsepaint era. Lovely.

But it’s the beercan-raised tributes that dominate here, none more endearing – or silly – than “Raised on Rock”. As on the title cut, Fenriz delivers his best Lemmy impersonation in this homage to Venom. What makes the track – and the entire album – live and breathe, of course, is the drummer’s gift for swing. He can play on my demos any day. Like all Darkthrone albums, “F.O.A.D.” romps from start to finish.

Darkthrone have always been jokers, often to the extent of their own credibility. Some, though, have never seen the gag and yearn for the “serious” days of corpsepaint and “Norsk Arisk Black Metal”. Me, I love Darkthrone, whatever they do and find their nudge-wink humour refreshing. Darkthrone’s music is the reset button that clears away the cobwebs and the crap and I often find myself turning to DT when everything else seems stale and wasted.

And so it’s almost impossible for me to allocate a mere number rating to Darkthrone’s music. It’s either all or nothing in my book and I like this album a lot. Before deciding on a figure, I pulled out all my DT albums (no, I don’t have them all – yet) and put them in order of most to least preferred. This disk was second from the top, hence the mark I’ve given. What was at the top, you wonder?

Listen without prejudice, and then decide for yourself. For those who don’t like this album, of course, the band has a few words of wisdom for you.