Black Metal, Metal

Darkthrone – Old Star (Review)

Band: Darkthrone
Album: Old Star
Genre: Metal
Country: Norway
Release date: 31st of May 
Released via Peaceville Records
Cover artwork © Peaceville Records 2019

With Old Star, Darkthrone release their 18th album since their debut in 1991. Most famous releases are, I think there is no need to talk about, their second, third and fourth album “A Blaze In The Northern Skye,” “Under A Funeral Moon” and “Transilvanian Hunger” which can be found in nearly every Black Metal collection. However, the band moved on from their start as a Death Metal band at the end of the 80s to a Black Metal band during the 90s.

Today’s music on the most recent releases, and on “Old Star” as well, can’t be called Black Metal anymore. In their best moments, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto create a certain dirty kind of metal, which lets you think of a smelly piece of ground – this fleshy, rotten kind of smell – the ground with maggots in it and all other kinds of vermin you can think of – between some roots of a nearly dead tree in the f*cking, foggy middle of nowhere. Six tracks and 38 minutes later you think you can taste the smell, hear the vermin all around you, and you are sunk in the ground.

Responsible for this image is, on the one hand, Nocturno‘s voice and the absolutely simplified riffs, melodies and drum arrangements. Most of the time you only hear what seems to be necessary, no colour, no frills. The production is similar – right in the face and quite natural, without big digital studio tricks, or you can’t hear them at all. On the one hand, that’s nice on the guitar, but on the other hand, after listening to the album a few times, I’m really sick of the snare drum.

If you expect the next Black Metal highlight – you’re wrong, when you buy this album. Darkthrone found their sound somehow. You can still hear influences of Black and Death Metal, but in my opinion they just play a dirty kind of Heavy Metal, or even Rock, but they are far away from their former releases in the early 90s. Does it mean this is bad music? Definetly not. I really like the album, because of it’s energy, it’s simplicity, and this rotten feeling it gives to me. I really need some time to find another band with a similar sound, in the end I would compare this album to Mantar, who trigger similar feelings with their music with a similiar kind of energy.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

8 / 10


★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

9 / 10 (if you can handle the snare)

As usual, we added the two favorite tracks to our Transcended Review Playlist

Steven’s black double gatefold pressing of Old Star

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