Norwegian black metal duo Darkthrone release their 17th album Arctic Thunder, a follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed The Underground Resistance. One thing for sure is the band never let down.
Each album sounds different to the one prior. They keep consistent by not keeping consistent. Long time members Fenriz, who is an absolute behemoth behind the kit, and Nocturno Culto who delivers the demonic vocals we have grown to love, don’t hold back sharing their own style of rock ‘n’ death-roll. One thing I love from this record is the strong Celtic Frost vibe, something of which the black metal titans’ wear proudly on their sleeves of influences. To keep things raw, the record is self-produced by the band in the old rehearsal unit “The Bomb Shelter”, which was used in 1988 for A New Dimension and other demos.
From track opener Tundra Leech with its sludgy riff that hits harder than a cement truck, picking up the pace with next track Burial Bliss showing a lethal blend of punk and black metal, to stand out track Boreal Fiends with its evil riff that is sure to open the gates of hell. The doomy riff will turn some heads, and some heads are gonna roll as the great man Halford once said. The last minute of the song has an infectious riff that will make you want to hit repeat.
Inbred Vermin is a track that brings the late, great Lemmy and Motorhead to mind with its speed and bass frenzy on display. Title track Arctic Thunder is another highlight with its stomping riff that will want you to get out your guitar and start jamming. The guitar solo at the end is over too soon as it is heard in the fade-out.
Deep Lake Trespass takes the notch up a few levels, bringing up the tempo with some riff wizardry and Fenriz‘s ungodly drum technique. As there are only eight tracks on this record, there are definitely no fillers in the 39 minutes playtime of this killer disc. But all good things must come to an end, and instead of leaving you with a long song that can drag on which a lot of bands choose to do, Darkthrone leave you with the groovy The Wyoming Distance.
Drum-roll please, Fenriz, thanks for coming — it was a blast! It looks like two of the greatest black metal bands come in the form of duos. We have Inquisition, and now if you haven’t already, add the influential Darkthrone to the list. \m/