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Darkthrone – Old Star

7/10

Even if Darkthrone have regained some of their former lustre with the release of their two latest albums, who offered some quite tasty Celtic Frost worship, my senses of course went into DEFCOM 1 when Fenris declared that ”Old Star” was to be their most eighties sounding record up to date.

With the miserable trio ”F.O.A.D”, ”Dark Thrones and Black Flags” and ”Circle the Wagons” way to fresh in mind I feared the worst, another ”hilarious” farcical tribute to the old and obscure metal bands who never made it big back in the days.

The fact that they mentioned it to be a very ”doomy” album gave some relief though, since Doom Metal is one of my favourite genres but it was still with mixed emotions I put on “Old Star”, their 18th album up until today.

Luckily, as the opening riff of ”I muffle Your Inner Choir” blasted out of my speakers my worst fears where instantly blown away, sure enough, this was hardly a return to the Godly Black Metal-days of the early nineties but at least, it wasn’t a tribute to some long forgotten “Canadian metal” or similar junk.

The album consists of six songs of quite diverse nature. The earlier mentioned straight forward, up tempo opener, the more Heavy Metal-sounding ”The Hardship of The Scots” where the a bit to catchy opening riff is saved by paraphrasing the heaviness in the verses of the old Celtic Frost bell ringer ”Necromantical Screams”. The title song is somewhat bland but it’s a relative short piece and is soon forgotten when the other half of the album kicks in. The three last songs, the Doom Metal epic ”Alp Man”, the almost traditional Black Metal sounding ”The Duke of Gloat” and the mighty “Doom goes Punk goes Hellhammer”-finale ”The Key is Inside the Wall” are by far the best songs of the album.

The sound on “Old Star”, with the fact that this is Darkthrone taken into consideration, is quite crisp and clear, meaning that you will hear some squeak and creek from the guitar and a drum kit sounding organic as hell and by the way, I find Nocturno Cultos vocals to be the best he has ever delivered although I’m quite annoyed that I can’t find out who he tries to mimic. The only one that comes to mind is Johan Edlund of Treblinka/early Tiamat but there is someone else lingering in the voice to.

All in all, ”Old Star” is a pretty good album which leaves me with a good impression, and although it contains its fair chair of nods to old Heavy Metal, this time Darkthrone takes themselves seriously, completely leaving out the tongue in cheek attitude that almost destroyed Darktrone for me some ten years ago. Although, if your looking for the more Black Metal-ish Darkthrone of yore you’re going to be disappointed but if you like some old school heaviness with a serious heads up to the eighties, you’re in for a treat!

Artist: Darkthrone
Title: Old Star
Label: Peaceville Records
Date of release: 31/5-19
Playing time: 38:10
Rate: 7/10
Stand out track: The Duke of Gloat

Mattias Eronn

Mattias Eronn

Writer

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