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Darkthrone - Old Star

Label: Peaceville
Format: Download
Released: 2019
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9.5/10

In an era when most musical genres are overrun with soundalikes, the songs on “Old Star” each have their own distinct personalities.
“Old Star” is not just a good modern Thrash album, it’s an important one. Only six songs, but no filler, nothing wasted - - and the total running time is over 45 minutes, so no one is getting short-changed. Their sound is a little bit Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, but I mainly get a sense of where Megadeth *could* have gone after “Killing is My Business. . .”


Darkthrone are not nearly as technical and intricate as that, but the vocals channel pre “Sure, I can sing” Dave Mustaine, and show the same kind of intelligence and innate songwriting aptitude as young MegaDave. Throughout every song and measure, Darkthrone make the right creative decisions. There’s nothing ordinary or mundane; the songs on “Old Star” are relentlessly interesting and compelling listening. This is a band that’s fully invested in the power of the tritone note, and that doesn’t shy away from its use.
I’d stated that there was no filler, but the album is still a tad top-heavy, with the two best at tracks 1 and 2. “I Muffle Your Inner Choir” launches the album at high speed, rocketing across the sky like a ballistic. “The Hardship of the Scots” is the highlight of the album, beginning with what is essentially a duplicate of the main riff from AC/DC’s “Let Me Put My Love Into You” and Thrashing it up. I realize that it sounds odd, when I put it that way - - but it’s bloody brilliant. This one is destined for “best of” lists in 2019.

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