Review: DARKTHRONE – Eternal Hails……

Year of release: 2021
Label: Peaceville Records
Rating: 7 / 10

The new DARKTHRONE album has given me a daunting challenge; each new listening gives me different emotions. After the first try, I was delighted, thinking it was their best work since "Ravishing Grimness". After the second - that it is largely shallow, not deserving special attention. And until now, I am somewhere in between two extreme points of view.

There is an opinion that DARKTHRONE is basically unnecessary at this stage. I only partially agree with this. Their albums are still interesting to listen to and I still feel like buying them, but the fact is that this group has gone infinitely far from its cult essence, leaving only elements of sound. For many years now, DARKTHRONE have been reworking other people's ideas and replaying their own riffs, apparently believing that in this way they instill a taste for proper old metal in their listeners. No, they are not. Fenriz really likes to turn albums into quotation books, and then enthusiastically tell that the chord at such and such a second of such and such a song is stolen from the ancient underground heavy metallers BRITISH SLUTS, who recorded one album in 3rd year BC and broke up. Or here are the six dots in the title “Eternal Hails ……” - this is a reference to the eternal “The Return ……”, huh, wow! Well, I don't give a fuck. The truth is that most of the bands recommended by Fenriz are shit (this does not apply to BATHORY, of course), and for multiple quotations, there are cover bands. If Fenriz believes that mentioning another bunch of little-known bands in the context of DARKTHRONE will draw attention to them, then he is mistaken. At least in my case. On the contrary, it annoys me that all this crap has permeated the very heart of DARKTHRONE, taking away the lion's share of originality from these Norwegians.

“Eternal Hails ……” is traditionally convenient to disassemble track-by-track: both because of separate authorship, and because there are only 5 tracks, and all of them are unusually huge. “His Master’s Voice” by Nocturno Culto; this is initially a speedy thing with a rather gloomy mood and a minimum of fuckery. A bit like things from “The Underground Resistance”. Like my impression of the album, it balances between extremes, and the look at it depends on the mood. At the moment, for example, I feel incompleteness in it. “Hate Cloak” - more than nine minutes of trad-doom discouragement from Fenriz, who didn't find the masturbation on BLACK SABBATH on Isengard’s “new” album enough. “Wake of the Awakened” is the second song from NC with a strong atmosphere and rhythm in the spirit of “Ravishing Grimness”. Duration plays a cruel joke on it; the last 2-3 minutes could be safely thrown away. But still, this is perhaps the second most powerful thing on the album. “Voyage to Northpole Adrift” is the third song from NC. At first doomy, it gradually accelerates and turns into Speed ​​Metal, remaining quite catchy till the end. “Lost Arcane City of Uppåkra” is the brainchild of Fenriz and, oddly enough, came out as the best song of the five. It contains a little bit of everything, doesn't get hung up on the same thing, has an atmosphere and - incredible! - completely relieved of all sorts of frivolous or punky bullshit. The ending of the song is for once really the grand finale and not just the end of the album. With the help of an unexpected acoustic part, the band leads us to a beautiful synth part, which in depth is capable of surpassing all the rest of the material put together. What you see on the outstanding album cover is what it is, this part I mean.

In terms of performing techniques and technology, “Eternal Hails ……” really worked out. Borrowing from other bands aside, the songs are constructed from little bricks of "Ravishing Grimness", "Soulside Journey", demos and even "Goatlord" and "Total Death". There are some really heavy and cool riffs. The sound this time is completely necrotic, delightfully archaic. Awesome! This is a very tricky move; I suspect that in the brighter sound of the two previous albums, the songs would suck, but in our case, willy-nilly, you are trying to find the missing fragments in the depths of the downright analog sound. The vocals of Nocturno Culto are kind of lazy, but, again, in this sound it works great. The lyrics turned out to be strikingly intelligible, and not just atmospheric. In terms of design, as I understand it, there is again nothing to look at, except for the cover. The back cover still has the same stupid pictures of Fenriz and NC.


Author: F1sher16

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