Still going strong on their twenty five year career, Darkthrone duo Fenriz and Nocturno Culto churn out their sixteenth record to date. Its been a long time since the unholy trinity and the bands sound has not stagnated, always changing it up while retaining their core. In recent years they steered away from Black Metal and towards more traditional Heavy Metal sounds with a touch of Punk attitude in the mix. Its been a while since I last tuned in and so its lineage is fuzzy to me, as a whole it is typically Darkthrone in its construct but the tone has a blacker font than I expected.
The bands approach is static from start to end, very singular and riff driven songs, the distortion guitars set the path and drums follow it. The chemistry of the two holds up well for it to maintain a modest level of interest, even as the guitars drag through riff after riff the percussion spices it up and reinforces its tone. The third aspect are the vocals, shrill raspy and jagged they cut through the atmosphere continually as choppy echoes feedback into the distance, dropping in with a standard dose of lyrics where it suits to do so.
There's little surprises or anything out of the ordinary, just a solid set of guitar riffs jammed out across forty minutes. At times they drift into atmospheric chord shredding and in others focus on groove and slower thrash styles that are reminiscent of many older Metal bands, personally it was those moments that felt underwhelming. The thicker, blacker tracks where the chord shredding was prominent had such more noise the songs felt more rounded. Without them, the music is a little bleak, thin and tiresome in repetition. Certainly not something awful but it feels as if the riffs offer little more than whats been heard before. I can only think of one memorable moment where "Deep Lake Tresspass" culminates with a breakdown and short guitar lead or solo. Apart from that it was mostly forgettable.
Favorite Songs: Burial Bliss, Deep Lake Tresspass