Darkthrone
Soulside Journey


2.5
average

Review

by superpeer USER (22 Reviews)
May 29th, 2006 | 334 replies | 21,444 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


6 of 8 thought this review was well written

You take Soulside Journey, Darkthrone's debut, you turn it around, expecting pictures of the band members in an evil forest, maintaining mysterious poses. Indeed they are in a forest, but wait, Nocturno Culto is a blonde guy wearing jeans?

Why?

The year is 1991 and the band that would go on to make black metal classics such as A Blaze in the Northern Sky and Transilvanian Hunger had not yet discovered the enjoyable touch of corpse paint or black metal tout court. It is said that Euronymous (of Mayhem) got these guys into black metal and before that happened they were a death metal band. Some say technical, but to me that's only true in comparison to the minimalistic approach of their later albums.

Speaking of their later albums, I can't help but compare the two musical eras in their career. Obviously, this sounds very different. The first thing that you will notice is the production. It's much fuller than, say, Under a Funeral Moon, an album with one of the thinnest productions known to man. Everything sounds clear, but the fans will still recognise that typical Darkthrone guitar tone.
In technical terms it is more accomplished, there are solos and Fenriz performs some of his best drumming to date. All of this proves that they do not play minimalistic music because they're not capable of anything more complex, as some think.

While all that sounds promising, this album left me somewhat disappointed. Yes, they sound different, but it's still Darkthrone, which means repetitive riffing and monotonous vocals. There are definitely interesting moments, namely, the solos, for one and brief spotlight moments for the bassist being another. The opener is easily the best song on the album, starting with chanting synths, breaking loose in powerful riffing. The synths reappear in the song and Darkthrone proves that you can use synths in death metal, which they make clear in a number of other songs. Unfortunately these moments rapidly vanish and that leaves us with a big chunk of other stuff.

The structure of the songs is repeated pretty much every song, starting slow with ringing power chords, then adding fast drums and tremelo picking a faster riff. This gets very tiring nearing the end of the album and the songs seem to go on endlessly, especially because many of the riffs are similar. (Which makes me wonder if the first song is best, purely because it is first and not the 11th song using the worn out pattern). Somehow they do the same thing on later albums and make it sound amazing, but it just doesn't work for death metal, keep the repetition in black metal. There it creates a dark atmosphere, here it's just boring. (Although the synths do hint at it, but they are used too scarcely to really make an impact).

While some people might enjoy this, it's not the kind of death metal that I like listening to. It is certainly not a bad album, but it's not consistently interesting, which makes it pale in comparison to what I think to be their best album, Transilvanian Hunger. (much like their faces will pale with paint after this, ironically). Don't start here if you're trying to get into Darkthrone, that is the message.

2.8/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Shadows
Moderator
May 29th 2006



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

THOU SHALLT BE JELLESIZED

I agree with all of this. It was a little more technical than their black metal, but it's still pretty boring and monotonous by death metal standards.

Neoteric
May 29th 2006



3243 Comments


Superpeer rulz

Lord Abortion
May 29th 2006



7 Comments


I really like this album, actually. It's better than anything after Panzerfaust, that's for sure

Thor
May 29th 2006



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I heard this a few months ago and thought it was incredibly average. Nowadays I only listen to the essential Darkthrone albums (ABitNS, UaFM, and TH).

I like your reviews because they deliver all of the info needed in a very brief manner.

Silenius
May 29th 2006



302 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, Cromlech is a kick-ass song, there's no denying that, if the next albums weren't so damn good I think people would like this one a little bit more.

EDIT: O yeah, good review 'Peer as always. This Message Edited On 05.29.06

superpeer
May 29th 2006



257 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you, kind sir. (Thor)This Message Edited On 05.29.06

RiceMonster
May 29th 2006



62 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree alot with this review. This album definetly isn't bad, but it's not that amazing either. It's good for a listen every now and then, but I'd much rather throw on Under a Funeral Moon or Transilvanian Huner.

Apocalyptic Raids
May 29th 2006



810 Comments


Cromlech is an awesome song. Excellent album too.

Inpropagation
May 29th 2006



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is really good. Cromlech is indeed an awesome song.

Freezing Moon
May 30th 2006



63 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought this was really damn good, it's old school death with great riffs that also adds in some dark sounding keyboards, etc. It has a great atmosphere overall and I find it really enjoyable.

ninjamonkey
May 30th 2006



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same comments as Freezing Moon

Tyler
Emeritus
February 23rd 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cromlech slays way too hard.

Stalusk
February 23rd 2007



90 Comments


This was a pretty decent debut album back in the day. Can't get enough that guitar tone!

rattlehead42147
May 9th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

im getting this/diabolical fullmoon mysticism/a blaze in the northern sky in the mail within 2-3 days. they are on their way and i am quite stoked. ive heard all of ABITNS and i downloaded neptune towers off this album and i can't get enough of the song. great review by the way, although i hope when i hear the cd i like it more than a 3.

Inperiour
December 1st 2007



78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think this is the rightful place to start when starting to listen to Darkthrone. You can never really appreciate a bands early works when you have bought their magnum opus then work back. I thought this was an excellent example of Death Metal, though I really don't know where people get the technical in this.

LifeInABox
December 1st 2007



3708 Comments


You're supposed to round up when it's .5 or above.

rattlehead42147
December 19th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so the rating drops from 3 to 2.5? mine went up from 4 to 4.5. I fucking love this album.

I was sent here to describe and tease the minds.... of fantasy kings!

combustion07
April 22nd 2008



5334 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is my favorite Darkthrone album...

Hawks
April 23rd 2008



34344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is probably my second least favorite. Least favorite being the horrible F.O.A.D.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Commortus
December 21st 2008



237 Comments


wow i think this is a lot better than a 2.5... it's really good blackened death imo.



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