There were a lot of highly anticipated albums this year. When was the last time Carcass or Goreguts released anything? When was the last time Queensrych released anything people wanted to hear? Despite all of this, the album I was the most excited about was the new Darkthrone. Circle the Wagons was a brilliant classic metal throw back but felt a little bit too light hearted. Looking at the song lengths and titles of this release raised my expectations extremely high and I was not disappointed.
The first thing that spiked my interest was the fourteen minute track at the end of the album. I was both excited and worried. The question on every DT fan's mind was: "is this song a worthy successor as Darkthrone's longest song?" Spoiler alert! The answer is no.
I'm sure everyone has noticed Darkthrone gradually progressing from a blackened punk approach on The Cult is Alive to the blatant 80's trad metal throwback we see here. As expected this is full out oldschool metal worship and the final stage in this transformation. What I love the most about this effort is how well it represents the transitional nature of this type of music. When you listen to a band like Celtic Frost you can see obvious leanings to the genre that would eventually be called black metal. When you listen to Omen you can hear what will one day be called power metal, despite maintaining a full traditional metal dynamic. On Underground Resistance you can here proto thrash, doom, power and first wave black metal side by side, flawlessly representing the primordial ooze metal's most well known sub genres emerged from in the early 80's.
The best song on the album in my opinion would have to be track 5. Most of the riffs on this tune wouldn't sound out of place on Panzerfaust or To Mega Therion. As the title would suggest this song oozes with doom. Alongside the plodding doom riffs are some excellent tremolo riffs that only Darkthrone can pull off. Awesome tune!
The biggest let down on the album was the aforementioned fourteen minute song, Leave No Cross Unturned. Awesome song title, cool lyrics, oldschool atmosphere, brilliant vocal performance and every single riff is good. I will admit it, it isn't THAT big of a let down. The only downfall is the length and not enough ideas to carry this type of song. There is a tone of repetition, which Darkthrone is good at making interesting, but they failed this time. This would be the best song on this album easily if it was 7 or 8 minutes long, but it suffers because the good ideas are pushed way past their logical extreme. If you're writing music, take note. Just because you have a good idea doesn't mean you should stretch it out as long as possible. Although it was a let down I still look forward to hearing this song every time I listen to this album.
Stop being an ass clown, listen to Darkthrone and LEAVE NO CROSS UNTURNED! !!!!!!!!!!! 1