ALBUM REVIEW: Darkthrone – Eternal Hails…

Release Date: June 25th 2021
Label: Peaceville Records
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Darkthrone have had a experimental existence, taking in everything from their original roots in death metal to punk, yet their two mainstays Fenriz and Nocturno Culto command all instruments in their guise now to produce their latest effort, ‘Eternal Hails…’.

This record should come with a warning to wear a decent pair of headphones to listen to, as on first glance through a fairly cheap set you’d be led to think this must be a band recording in their garage into a tape machine. This is especially true with opener ‘His Masters Voice’, as the thud of the kick drum is missing and the riffs are washy-wishy with little definition if you don’t have higher quality equipment.

Lacking the clean-cut edge of today’s balls to the wall production, ‘Hate Cloak’ has the classic charm of down trodden sludge meets wailing black metal, with distant vocals from Fenriz who has an intelligible and equally dark stance.

‘Wake Of The Awakened’ injects a decent variance of pace, with riotous cymbals and rampant riffs that shine a light of hope in the ever-relenting doom evoked in the lyrics. It’s also nicely accompanied by different tones of pedals and confrontational chords, which add to the sometimes straight up forefront.

The groove laden ‘Lost City Of Uppakra’ attaches another weapon to the arsenal, and successfully delivers a well deserved head bang for all the patience for sitting through the progressive plod. It does still caveat with a spooky moment that’s right out of left corner, and unexpected with haunting pedals and synths to leave you mystified about what just happened.

‘Eternal Hails…’ is the most interesting journey that you could ever take along the highway of black and stoner metal, but don’t expect to be able to take every aspect of it in without higher quality headphones.