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So cold... - 97%

Valleys_Of_Hades, April 6th, 2006

Let me just start by saying that Transylvanian Hunger makes Under A Funeral Moon sound like fucking Soulside Journey in so many ways! The minimalism that is obtained on this album is fucking incredible, so fucking minimal, that it will put the listener into a trance like state, with the whole point of the album being to hypnotize those who listen to it. Honestly, I think it requires great talent and accuracy to play the same riff for over 6 minutes straight without screwing up once, so those of you who start to accuse Darkthrone again of being talent less fucks, you can suck Satan’s cock in Hell for all I care. I respect anyone who can get into this, or at least appreciate it for what it is. To get a clear idea of what the album sounds like, take the two most minimalistic tracks from Under A Funeral Moon and subtract one or two riffs from them. Then remix all of the instruments together to create a hypnotizing wall of noise, lower the vocals into the mix, and there you have it; the dark and evil masterpiece known as Transylvanian Hunger. Nothing more and nothing less.

The album kicks off with my all time favorite Darkthrone song, Transilvanian Hunger! The entire track is based on two riffs, the same drum pattern through out, yet spans over 6 minutes long. Needless to say, the hypnotic atmosphere that is created by this song is purely incredible, and one would only have to hear to understand. Do yourself a favor; turn off all the lights, light some candles, play this tune full blast on your stereo, relax and let your mind wander into the evil, haunted bat-ridden forests of Transylvania where Dracula’s castle stands in all its might over the hills. That’s really what this song does. Pretty amazing, huh? All of that based on 2 riffs, repetitive beats and harsh vocals? I tell you, it’s all in the mix and production! The band really did it this time. I mean, that one main riff is catchy as all hell and will stay nailed into your skull for a very long time. I guarantee you that! In Over Fjell Og Gjennom, believe it or not, there is only ONE riff through out this entire song. Yet, this is the shortest track on the album, lasting only 2 and a half minutes long. The English translation of the title is Over Mountains And Through Thorns, and is based on battle and Norse pride. The last lyric, which is “Den Norríne Rase ma Slakte den andre nar blammen dunker for tungt pa var dír”, translates to “The Norse race must slaughter the other when niggers pound too heavily on our door”. That later on caused some confusion on whether Darkthrone was a neo-nazi act or not.

The next song, Skald Av Satans Sol, consists of more than four riffs at least. The drumming of course remains the same as with the previous two songs, but the main riff in this track is catchy as fuck! It may be quite repetitive, but hell, I don’t care. This is one badass riff, and is also another that is guaranteed to stay nailed into the back of your skull. The riffs do change slightly through out though, but the main focus and highlight here is the main riff. By the way, the English translation of the title is Scald Of Satan’s Sun. Much in the vein of the title track, Slottet I Det Fjerne relies on only 2 or 3 riffs which are executed well enough to keep the listener interested, or at least in a trance like state. The harsh, Norwegian lyrics only add to the evil atmosphere that this song conveys. The English translation of the title is The Castle In The Distance. With Graven Takeheimens Saler, unlike most of the other tracks heard here, there is more variation in the riffs. There are maybe about…4 or 5 through out the song? Regardless, this track still delivers the same cold and harsh tone that places you into a trance like atmosphere. Don’t expect any variation in the drumming either. The English translation is The Grave In The Misthouse Halls.

Len Hall Med Flesk Og Mjod is merely like every other song on the album, as it begins with a blast of rapid drum beats, frozen, icy riffs, harsh vocals and an atmosphere of darkness and mysticism. It isn’t until the middle of the song that the riffs tend to vary, allowing Nocturno Culto’s vocals to come a bit more forward in the mix so that his harsh, Norwegian accent shines in all its evil glory. This is one of the most evil sounding songs on the album, and is without a doubt, one of Darkthrone’s best. The English translation of the title is In A Hall With Pork And Mead. As Flittermice As Satans Spys is by far one of the most minimalistic tracks on the album. Much like Over Fjell Og Gjennom Torner, this one is based solely on one riff, maybe two, yet sustains a much harsher, colder feel than that aforementioned song. It conveys more of an atmosphere as well since it spans almost six minutes long! Let me tell you, if this doesn’t pull you into a trance, then you’ll get bored of this song easily. That goes for the rest of the album as well.

En As I Dype Skogen is the album off on one incredible note! Okay, so it’s simplistic and repetitive just as the rest of the record is, but riffs and atmosphere here…wow! That’s all I have to say is…wow! This isn’t aggressive in the sense of A Blaze In The Northern Sky. This one is just pure fucking atmospheric chaos all the way through, something you’ll have to hear to understand. I mean, how the hell do they do that while relying only on one or two riffs?! Honestly, this song will take you into a deep haunted forest where the cold winds blow along with many mysterious creatures that inhabit it. Seriously, when you translate the lyrics into English, that’s what this song is about. It’s called A Hill In The Deep Forest. Funny thing is, is that although the lyrics are in Norwegian, you don’t have to understand them to experience the atmosphere that this song tries to convey. The music just speaks for itself.

I know, I know, I stated in my review for A Blaze In The Northern Sky that Darkthrone’s goal when making albums was not to take the listener off into another realm with their music, just as Emperor, Satyricon and Burzum were doing at the time. Well, they sure did it here with this album, but this is very different from those bands. VERY different. How? Well, there’s no use of keyboards, symphonics or constant riff changes like Emperor includes on their records. There’s no use of sad, melancholic and/or depressive atmospheres used with keyboards and mid paced beats like Burzum used. I mean, this just sounded pure evil and mystical, not depressive. Last but not least, there’s no use of folk and medieval instrumentation that Satyricon used on their early releases. This album is just a few different riffs put together over the same pattern of drum beats, managing to have a much greater effect on the listener than any of the other Norwegian bands that I just mentioned. Well, that’s all in my opinion. So really, you either love or hate this album, which seems to be the case with most people. Some call it godly, while others claim that it’s one of the worst pieces of shit ever released. Still, if you claim that this is “no-talent-minimal-bullshit”, then you can just continue sucking off Opeth and Dream Theater, or some shitty flower power band out there. Not that I have anything against Opeth or Dream Theater, but if you think good music has to be solely complexed with crystal clear production, you couldn’t be more wrong.