Darkthrone
Sardonic Wrath


3.5
great

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (70 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2012 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


During the early 00’s, Darkthrone was gradually losing steam as a black metal band, releasing album after album of mediocre and forgettable material that didn’t hold a candle to their three giants A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Under a Funeral Moon, and Transilvanian Hunger. The previous album Hate Them was their most noticeably punk influenced album, and this influence is amplified even further in 2004’s Sardonic Wrath, Darkthrone’s last official black metal album. Over half of the songs actually fall more under the punk category, and in reality the only thing giving this the black metal title is the production (which is easily the worst part of the album since the songs themselves are quite good). Still, Sardonic Wrath shows signs of Darkthrone finally doing what they want, crust punk with black metal influence, and on top of that, finally having fun with their music once again.

After an appropriately titled ominous intro, the album kicks off with album highlight “Information Wants to Be Syndicated,” the most ‘grim’ song on the album having a healthy amount of blast beats and catchy riffs to go along. “Straightening Sharks in Heaven” is another track pick, featuring some cold riffs almost hinting at their Panzerfaust days. The song that hints most at their early black metal days however is “Hate Is the Law,” blatantly ripping off “I en hall med flesk og mjød” off their 1994 album Transilvanian Hunger but adding a punk twist to it with a group chant chorus. The falling back on old ideas could be due to lazy songwriting, or just an attempt to remind listeners of their glory days – probably both. Unfortunately, it comes across as very uninspired but it’s a decent song nonetheless and provides a welcome change of pace from the overwhelmingly punky second half of the album.

Other standout tracks include “Sjakk matt Jesu Krist,” “Sacrificing to the God of Doubt,” and the doomy album closer “Rawness Obsolete.” The only low point of the album song wise is the middle two tracks, which aren’t bad by any means but come across as filler more than anything. Regardless, aside from the occasional blast beat the album is essentially a crust punk Darkthrone album with metal production – horrible production, mind you, but black metal-esque nonetheless. I’m sure if the guitar tone wasn’t so piercing and bright that Sardonic Wrath would get more attention from Darkthrone fans, but as it is it’s a very solid output from the former black metal kings and bodes well as their final ‘metal’ album before transitioning into their full-on crust punk era.



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user ratings (132)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another darkthrone review, really been digging them lately.

Underrated album imo

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

NeoSpaz
October 22nd 2012


4519 Comments


cool stuff
good review too

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks!

TheSpirit
October 22nd 2012


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. i have always liked darkthrone's mid-period a lot, i've always felt it a bit underrated.

Digging: Volahn - Aq Ab Al

DarkSideOfLucca
October 22nd 2012


3396 Comments


Insurrection, the fact that you've been digging Darkthrone recently makes you awesome, they were one of the main bands that got me to appreciate black metal

But I haven't listened to this one yet :/

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks spirit and yea same here lucca. This is one of their best from their mid period (total death is my personal fav) so i recommend checking it out

TheSpirit
October 22nd 2012


17987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think my favorite mid period is probably ravishing grimness but i really do like them all for the most part

Itwasthatwas
October 22nd 2012


772 Comments


Only 00's release I've heard is Black Flags, always mean to check out some of their other stuff but can't be assed to. Is this really comparable to TH or Nattens Madrigal? (your recs)

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think my favorite mid period is probably ravishing grimness but i really do like them all for the most part


thats a good one too, the claws of time is an awesome song

and itwas, its not really comparable to them i just rec'd them cause theyre much better black metal albums than this, but this is very different from black flags and a lot better imo

Wizard
October 22nd 2012


19607 Comments


Darkthrone’s last official metal album.

Huh? Last time I checked, they still did metal Motorhead style.

The borderline plagiarism could be an account of lazy songwriting, or just an attempt to remind listeners of their glory days – probably both.

So they plagiarize their own work?

I’m sure if the guitar tone wasn’t so piercing and bright that Sardonic Wrath would get more attention from Darkthrone fans,

The rest of their work has the same tone and production, I don't think this makes much sense.

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Huh? Last time I checked, they still did metal Motorhead style.


meant to put 'black' in there, will fix

So they plagiarize their own work?


yeah, not really plagiarism i guess but i didnt know how else to word it.

The rest of their work has the same tone and production, I don't think this makes much sense.


idk the guitars especially on this album are ear piercing to me. they sound really treble-heavy i guess, but it defnitely doesnt have the same production as most of their other stuff.

skoopy48
October 22nd 2012


1561 Comments


Is this band good? Im trying to get into the black metal genre

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea dude theyre great for getting into bm. check out a blaze in the northern sky (death metalish riffs/black metal production) and transilvanian hunger (straight up raw black metal)

Ire
October 22nd 2012


41820 Comments


album is sandwiched between two greaaaaat albums

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the cult is alive > this > hate them imo

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

done

Ire
October 22nd 2012


41820 Comments


if u think their first four are their only good ones ur a level 56 faggot with shit taste

Ire
October 22nd 2012


41820 Comments


the cult is alive ruules

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2012


21625 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all of their albums are good tho and im too lazy to bump all of them

Wizard
October 23rd 2012


19607 Comments


yeah, not really plagiarism i guess but i didnt know how else to word it.

"Falling back on old ideas" would work better.

idk the guitars especially on this album are ear piercing to me. they sound really treble-heavy i guess, but it defnitely doesnt have the same production as most of their other stuff.

Transylvania Hunger sounds like a mosquito caught in a bottle and that particularly comes to mind when comparing production.

Good review though, nice to see some unrecognized albums get their credit.



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