(Black Metal) Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger
Nocturno Culto: Vocals, bass
Year of release: 1994
Darkthrone are one of, if not the, premier black metal bands. They have gathered a unique sound with their extremely poor production. But, aside from that, they music is excellent. Particularly their song writing, the time seems to fly by when listening to this album, which is quite a feat, considering the album is about 40 minutes long. Most songs are dominated by three or four, chord progressions, played in a tremolo style, and the occasional different riff. Simple, but it works. They create an amazing atmosphere with the music, and the almost chant-like vocals. This is the fourth Darkthrone album, third under the black metal genre, and first with mainly Norwegian vocals. The riffs are repetitive, and ‘droning’, almost hypnotising the listener. The last four tracks had vocals by Varg Vikernes, of Mayhem and Burzum. It also gained some controversy over the release, some pressings had the phrase ‘Norsk Arisk Black Metal’ (Norwegian Aryan Black Metal) on the back cover, and after many distributors complained, the phrase was removed. And finally, credit must go to the drummer, Fenriz. For 39 minutes straight, he plays solid blast beats/extremely fast rock beats, without missing a beat.
This is probably the greatest song on the CD, rivalled only by ‘En As I Dype Skogen’. It begins with an excellent riff, simple yet catchy – it shows their supreme writing skills. This song is one of two songs on the CD to be dominated by English vocals, the other is ‘As Flittermice As Satans Spys’. The vocals are done very nicely by Nocturno Culto, perfect for the style of music. And they don’t dominate the music, like other songs on the CD. An excellent starter to the CD, it is of epic proportions.
Over Fjell Og Gjennom Torner
Contrary to the previous song, the vocals are really prevailing thing on the song. It is a shame, since the music is awesome. The song, being relatively short, is over in no time, another homage to their song writing excellence.
Skald Av Satans Sol
The opening riff to this song is splendid. It is in 5/4 then 3/4, but the drums play 4/4 throughout, giving it a kind of technical feel. The guitar solo probably would be excellent, if you could hear it. The vocals take a backseat in this song. A highlight of the album.
Slottet I Det Fjerne
As I said in the intro, the CD can be rather repetitive in parts. The first riff sounds remarkably the same as ‘Transilvanian Hunger’. It has a nice slide bit at the end of it, which makes it sound cool. This is the final song on the CD with Nocturno Culto on vocals.
Graven Takeheimens Saler
This is Varg Vikernes’ first song on the album. You can notice the slight difference in their vocal delivery – Varg has a more deep, throaty growl, which doesn’t suit the music as well as Nocturno Culto. They are still excellent though, and give a new dimension to the album. Around the 3:20 mark, there is actually a different drum beat to the usual blasts! It doesn’t last long though.
Ien Hall Med Flesk Og Mjod
This is probably the worst song on here, but it is still listenable. It is far too repetitive, i.e, the same note is played for about three bars. The vocals are awesome though.
As Flittermice As Satans Spys
This is a good song. It has a decent enough chord progression, but has all these cool effects going on in the background. These effects are used sparsely, so it is a pleasure to hear them every time. It has a great solo in it, unfortunately it is very hard to hear in places. The only fault with this song is that it runs for too long, and doesn’t have that hypnotising effect that the other songs do.
En As I Dype Skogen
Excellent song. It is typical of Darkthrone to save their best songs till last. It is probably their fastest song on the CD. The chord changes are magical. The vocals are perfectly mixed, and perfectly delivered. A great way to end the album.
: 5/5. The epitome of black metal releases, along with De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. It is modest in its greatness. If you aren’t a black metal fan, I would advise you to check out De Mysteriis (Mayhem) first, if you are a black metal fan, this CD should be in your CD collection.