Darkthrone - "Old Star"
Darkthrone - “Old Star”
As one of the progenitors of the Norwegian Black Metal Scene, Darkthrone have easily been one of the most consistent and hard working bands from that era. A band who isn’t afraid to step outside a genre and experiment. Even now, 25+ years later, the band continues to show growth and evolution all while managing to retain a more “vintage” and entirely refreshing sound of heavy metal.
On “Old Star” the bands 17th studio album, yes that’s right 17!! We hear an even more refined prescience of what was started with their previous effort in Arctic Thunder. The sonic elements now dialed in to near perfection, the instruments at their most lethally aural. Ted Skjellum aka “Nocturno Culto” has managed to create some of the most memorable rhythm guitar sections and riffs in recent memory, especially on tracks like “Hardship of the Scots” who’s opening guitar riff has not left my head since its release. The closing track “The Key is inside the Wall” is no different, a doom ladened thrash infused rock and roll anthem to an extent.
Theres also faster paced thrashy songs like the track “Duke of Gloat” which manages to be as relentless as Darkthrone has ever gone with speed and their ferocity of riffs in my opinion. Theres also tons of melody infused in that song as well, the song manages to create moments that build to such a great crescendo of harmonious rhythmic guitar infused with melodious undertones in its composition.
Ted managed to encapsulate many old school genres of heavy metal in “Old Star”. Listening I’ve heard noticeable influences like Black Sabbath and Motorhead on the opening track “I Muffle Your Inner Choir” as well as a little bit of Judas Priest in the aforementioned “Hardship of the Scots” all while infusing their own unique Darkthrone sounding riffs that are all permeated within.
Fenris on drums absolutely nails the execution of every track, the choice to add some reverb making every snare hit and kick sound more “80’s” really really works and gives the album that extra ambience fueled by old school flair. It sounds absolutely incredible and full.
The album is blistering and fierce, with a run time of only 38 minutes over only 6 tracks, it feels like it was over before it even began and that’s a good thing. The songs all feel like they mattered and were perfected just for this release, there is no filler or weak moments on this entire album. “Old Star” might just be the best album Darkthrone has ever done.
I give this a perfect 10/10 score.