Darkthrone
Transilvanian Hunger


5.0
classic


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So Pure ... So Cold...

Back in 1994, the Norwegian black metal band Darkthrone had just released two famous black metal records, A Blaze In the Northern Sky and Under a Funeral Moon. These records helped them garnish a massive cult following in the black metal community and put them at the front of the second wave of black metal, along with other famous Norwegian black metal acts such as Burzum, Mayhem and Immortal. Darkthrone was very successful at resurrecting the traditional black metal atmosphere on their albums, complete with the classic production, all while still being able to pour the traditional formula into a new and refreshing musical form. Still, Darkthrone were not happy with the way their music was evolving so they decided to create something else, and that was Transilvanian Hunger. At its core, it was a very ambitious attempt at merging the good parts about its predecessors with the more traditional musical approach of the first wave of black metal, all while maintaining a typical black metal atmosphere. This was sure to be a challenge for the band.

At the time of release, Darkthrone were:
Nocturno Culto: vocals, guitar, bass
Fenriz: drums


Right off the bat when you listen to the first concentrated slab of black metal called 'Transilvanian Hunger' you will notice that Darkthrone yet again went with the underproduced sound that early, 'traditional' black metal records are so famous for, which was also heavily present on A Blaze in The Northern Sky. On a non-black metal record that would reduce the sound quality to an indistinguishable drab, but not on Transilvanian Hunger. On the contrary, the bad production actually improves the effect of the music, meaning that it only strengthens the album's cold and evil atmosphere.

Of course, Transilvanian Hunger is still a traditional black metal record at heart, which is partially showcased by the pressing that was placed on the early cd versions that read: True Norwegian Black Metal. This means that the riffs are vastly made out of heavy tremolo picking, and that the drumming makes heavy use of blast beats.There is little musical variety present in the riffs, but they are so powerful and all-consuming that you probably won't even notice the lack of variety while the album flies by. The same thing can be said about the drums.They are barely noticeable at first thanks to the production, but their blazing power will soon rise above the crunching guitar riffs and slam tiny holes into your ear drums so that you will remember just how inhumanely fast and amazing they actually are. Just listen to 'En As Dype Skogen' and you will surely get blown away by the insane speed at which the instruments are played.

Strangely, the early prints supported another phrase: "Norsk Arisk Black Metal", which apparently indicated that they were inspired by neo-Nazi thoughts, which could be combined with the later statement “We would like to state that Transilvanian Hunger stands beyond any criticism. If any man should attempt to criticize this LP, he should be thoroughly patronized for his obviously Jewish behavior.” As it turns out this was nothing more than a publicity stunt which obviously put the band in bad daylight, especially if you know that the lyrics for the final four songs on this album were written by Mayhem guitarist Varg Vikernes, who was at that time serving a prison sentence for after being convicted for murder and arson of several churches. This however does not find its reflection in the lyrics, as they do not express any racist or Nazistic thoughts. The lyrics are very fitting with the overall amosphere of the album, and they blend together well with Nocturno Culto's haunting vocals.

Of course, Transilvanian Hunger does not support a massive change in comparison to Darkthrone's previous efforts. Hell, people might even think of this album as worse than its predecessors, because Darkthrone deliberately cut back on the variety, and as such this record may come off as slightly boring, especially when compared to A Blaze In the Northern Sky. However, in my opinion the lack of variety is more than made up by the crushing, beating, howling and just plain raw musical power. As a true black metal classic, Transilvanian Hunger is an album that no black metal fan should miss.



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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrael
March 3rd 2011


20972 Comments


How to black metal, part 1.1: Darkthrone.
Positive criticism is appreciated etc...

alachlahol
March 3rd 2011


7515 Comments


what the jesus gas pumping christ is "inverted brutality" did you make that up

Tyrael
March 3rd 2011


20972 Comments


No it exists all right, but it was maybe a bit overkill so I changed it. Thanks.

BloodSweatandBeers
March 3rd 2011


1014 Comments


such an amazing Black Metal album, gonna have to listen to it again to give a rank, def between 4 and 5

Tyrael
March 3rd 2011


20972 Comments


Definitely one of the best black metal albums of the 90's.

Hawks
March 3rd 2011


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Title track is in the top 3 black metal songs ever made. This is my favorite Darkthrone.

scissorlocked
March 3rd 2011


3511 Comments


Transilvanian Hunger IS black metal. we happily shit on the faces of those who disagree

good review Tyr, you just got a big POS

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

KILL
March 3rd 2011


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

inverted brutality m/

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Jips
March 3rd 2011


1138 Comments


In opening paragraph you use the word poor where I think you prolly meant pour...


Good review, good album...

Tyrael
March 3rd 2011


20972 Comments


Indeed, thanks Jips!
@Hawks, scissorlocked & KILL : Hell yes!

Fugue
March 3rd 2011


7354 Comments


Awesome review. I'm far from a black metal pro but this was one of the first bm albums that clicked with me, even if I do hold it in a slightly lesser regard to some of the records I've heard since.

Tyrael
March 3rd 2011


20972 Comments


Thanks man, I appreciate it. Which black metal bands do you like?

Fugue
March 3rd 2011


7354 Comments


Burzum, Drudkh, old Ulver, WITTR(?), and Emperor would probably be my faves, although I've not been on a good metal binge in a while. Still need to listen to some Mayhem and Immortal considering they're pretty much essential bm but any other recs would be happily accepted and probably explored at some point.

Jips
March 3rd 2011


1138 Comments


Check out Windir and dissection.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2011


19043 Comments


Under a Funeral Moon is my favorite, and In the Shadow of the Horns is the best Darkthrone track.

But this still rules. Pos'd.

Digging: Objekt - Objekt #2

combustion07
March 3rd 2011


5420 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The mountains are cold

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2011


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The only real way I could ever see this as a 5 is if I viewed the context in which it was released as incredibly important. Otherwise it's a 4 at the very best.

Relinquished
March 3rd 2011


25848 Comments


igotshotintheface

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2011


16478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember that kid

pizzamachine
March 3rd 2011


12572 Comments


This means means that the riffs are vastly

Doubled word.

blast beating.There

Change to "blast beats", and a space is needed after the period.

Obviously I'm nitpicking, but this review deserved a thorough read. Fantastic work Ty, definitely a high caliber review!



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