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A grim listening experience - 90%

Black_Metal_Bastard, October 26th, 2003

This is Darkthrone's newest album. It is more of a return to the raw, garage sound of the early days, but it is still not garage enough to be considered the brother of Transilvanian Hunger. This record is by no means a masterpiece, but it is also by no means a piece of shit. Every song on here is good. They all retain the feeling of grimness and evil, but they none of them are up there with classics like In the Shadow of the Horns or Skald Av Satans Sol (except maybe In Honour of Thy Name).

The guitars are all tuned to D, including the bass, and the riffwork is good, but a step down from Plaguewielder, which is what they intended, and they do it so very well. Fenriz's drums are excellent. He is really a great drummer, but he doesn't really do anything that stands out. Nocturno Culto's vocals are grim, evil, and colder than the freezing moon (bad joke). The vocals may be the stand out of this album.

The production is of course pretty bad, but it is definately good compared to earlier works. It does have a depth to it, which most of their records don't have. I read a review of this album on a site somewhere out there and the guy reviewing it said that the album sucked because of the "demo-like quality of the sound". Well that guy is obviously not been keeping up with Darkthrone since 1991. That is what makes their albums so atmospheric, the really shitty production, but really, this album does NOT have bad quality sound by any means.

Pick this up if you are a Darkthrone fan or a BM fan in general.