Thirty years on into their career and Norway’s Darkthrone are still at the very forefront of the black metal scene. Other bands might come and go but as their new album Old Star shows this duo are still the trend setters in a genre that just keeps growing.
Their seventeenth studio album Old Star takes the best of the modern day sound of black metal and mixes it with the old school sound that Darkthrone fans have cherished over the years. Take some black metal vocals and mix it with elements of doom, thrash and traditional heavy metal and the end result is Old Star… an album you fall in love with on the first listen.
Always known for their key riffs Darkthrone do not disappoint here. “I Muffle Your Inner Choir” seems some driving riffs delivered by both Fenriz and Nocturno Culto while the vocals are ghostly and send shivers down your spine. The guitar driven element of Old Star returns on “The Hardship Of The Scots” which captures that traditional metal sound and infuses it with an epic black metal feel that delivers some pure magic.
My doom loving side went into over-drive with both the album’s title track and “Alp Man.’ Both tracks are deep, dark and Darkthrone at their very best. On “Alp Man” again the vocals stand out, they are again ghostly and chilling and add to the foreboding feeling of a track that conjure up thoughts of a graveyard at midnight.
“Duke Of Gloat” sees the band pick up the pace – it is faster and is a call back to the bands early days of death metal while the closing track, “The Key Is Inside The Wall”, has a thrashy side and rounds out an album that sees Darkthrone touch on an array of metal genres and manage to pull them all off brilliantly.
Old Star is one for lovers of old-fashioned metal at its best. Dark and atmospheric this is what black metal is all about.