OOOOOORGH! Black Metal. There are about a bazillion subgenres to Heavy Metal and fans of those Genres take it pretty seriously. Dare you cross over from one to the other or mistake speed metal for Black Metal for thrash then you will get your backside handed to you by a legion of fans waiting in the shadows ready to pounce so with that in mind I’m taking this here new album from “old School Second wave” black Metallers Dark Throne and give it a good listen. I won’t be downloading it onto my headphones and walking through any woods (obviously) just in case old Bealzibub doesn’t take kindly to my words and seeks to make amends.
There has been something of an upsurge recently with several movies being released about the subgenre as well as the granddaddies of them all Venom knocking out their most impressive box set ‘In Nomine Satanas’. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto making up the band in 2019 and have been the mainstay since ’93. Its as heavy as a kick from one of Bealzibubs hoofs and still a challenging listen (at times) but I have to say that the band remain fairly true to the roots of the genre and embrace their inner Venom and Celtic Frost, well, more than most they don’t try and growl deeper, more indecipherable than any other nor do they try to hit more bass drum notes or solo faster which happens to be quite refreshing.
They know their niche and they’re sticking to it like shit on a blanket, sure it’s dark, uncompromising, complex as well as being loud and above all true to Dark Throne and what they are about. Seemingly only dancing to their own tune and if the critics say left they will go right if they so wish. In fact, Dark Throne is more accessible than most in this genre which might just be why they remain towards the top of the pile. Oh and Fenriz wins for having a Hanoi Rocks Tattoo on his right forearm now that is zero fucks given in this genre right there.
Anyway, enough flannel on with the show. With the promotional material being released the night before it hit the shops was funny and one that would have wound up lots of people but a classic bit of Dark Throne right there. Whilst there are only six songs on this record a lot of those songs are prog lengthed weaving slabs of noise. ‘I Muffled YourInner Choir’ (obviously) opens with a fairly sprightly pace this six-plus minute epic has its doomier Sabbath inspired middle eight where the chug is humungous and sprawling as it takes the opener home.
Track two ‘the Hardship Of The Scot’ begins with a riff that is pure Dokken. I kid you not boys and girls go check it out then before the black metal brigade can reach for their bedside torch to light it up before heading out to hunt down the throne boys before they tease their hair up and start playing chavel Jackson and rocking out in unison things take a downturn and the vocals enter proceedings and no more mention of Don the Dream Warrior will be spoken – not round here that’s for sure.
The title track is pretty doomy and Culto delivers his best rasp on the vocals but what really is setting this aside from the rest of the pack is the production and it has to be said I like the fact that it doesn’t sound like it was recorded in a cardboard box using a Panasonic table mic to record everything and the lack of blast beats is refreshing as is the fast – faster – fastest nonsense that just tries to out-macho the last band ofter prevalent in this music. ‘Alp Man’ has a bit of the Slayers about its opening riff. Only a few notes needed and it’s heavy as and a bit different and Fenriz just hold the beat steady as without feeling the need to hit more drums than anyone else. The instrumental middle is a bit meh! for me making the song longer for the sake of it I dunno but its the weakest track on offer here that’s for sure.
I’m always intrigued as to what makes these fellas tick and find myself drawn towards the extreme outer edges and fascinated with the music they play and Dark Throne do this well and ‘Old Star’ is a winner and I’m sure will be very well received for staying true to what they’re all about and not vanishing up their own backsides with a bunch of cheesy quotes they rightfully leave all that to people like me. Horns up kids if you haven’t got this yet then get out there and get involved not that you’ll find it in Tesco or Asda you might still have to dig a bit deeper. Oh and I still think they are all missing a trick by not insisting this retails for £6.66 or £6.65 (not totally evil)
Author: Dom Daley
Buy Old Star Here