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Darkthrone – Sardonic Wrath

Label: The End Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Darkthrone started their brand of Norwegian Black Metal in the early 90’s, inspired by bands like Bathory, Venom (which can clearly be heard on 'Sjakk Matt Jesu Krist'), and Celtic Frost. "Sardonic Wrath" starts off with a ominous, yet suble, sounding instrumental.


'Straightening Sharks in Heaven' is very influenced by the late work of Bathory frontman Quorthon, from the fast blast beats to the tempo changes. The choice in guitar riffing and change in rhythmic pattern tips it’s hat to Celtic Frost on 'Alle Gegen Alle' and 'Man Tenker Sitt'. Both tracks use a mid pacing instead of lightning fast double bass which works very well, showing more direction and focus to the music created. Even the production quality is very similar to early Bathory albums, where the drum and bass is thin, even the guitar tone is not very full. It is a slightly different sound than one would expect for an extreme band, not as muffled as most. The vocals are wicked and dark, rather hard to distinguish, along with the band’s logo, unless you are use to the vocals of Bathory’s music because this guy is a dead ringer. The album is even dedicated to Quorthon.

Darkthrone is not for the meek and is made for traditional Black Metal purists, especially fans of how it started in the early 80’s.

I can see their place in Metal today, and find it admirable that someone is carrying the flag for what early Black Metal pioneers once created.

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