Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Darkthrone: The Underground Resistance (2013)

How It Works

Let me tell you a little something about how reviewing works in this world. I get a lot of promos. Most of them are pretty decent, overall, but the more you hear, of course, the more "pretty good" just sounds like shit. I begin culling the herd based on convenience rather than merit, just deleting anything that's at 128 kbps, or if the tags are in ALL FUCKING CAPS or if the music isn't tagged with anything at all.

And I don't always put something into my library the minute I download it. So I was about to delete this untagged album. I had no idea what it was. But I thought, well, I could listen to a little bit on the off chance I could identify it. In this rarest of instances, I listened to about 5 seconds and said, "Oh, that's the new Darkthrone." It was a one in a thousand chance, but there's no mistaking Darkthrone.

The Underground Resistance continues the legendary Norwegians' dedication to all the things that made the 80's great, with a nod to what made Darkthrone great in the first place. It's a combination of black metal, crust, speed metal, and heavy metal that encapsulates all of the things that the great tastemaker Fenriz is always promoting. The first cut reminds me of Mercyful Fate's "Halloween," and if you know me, anything that reminds me of Mercyful Fate is something I immediately fall in love with.

The last track, "Leave No Cross Unturned," is perhaps the best. It has that corny and impossible-to-take-seriously irreverence, but when it combines the essence of speed metal, Mercyful Fate, and Celtic Frost so seamlessly (in music and vocals), so honestly, so fervently, and so convincingly, I can't resist it. I don't even notice the track goes on for nearly 14 minutes, it's that good.

It's another pure, raw Darkthrone album, fueled by love for the best of metal's heyday. As many as they seem to keep churning out, they're still all fucking awesome.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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