Darkthrone
Plaguewielder


2.0
poor

Review

by Kyle Ward EMERITUS
October 29th, 2009 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


Darkthrone’s slow but vibrant plunge from the top of the elitist second-wave Norwegian black metal scene is hardly a secret. It’s common knowledge nowadays that the band has shifted their sound toward a more punk-influenced “black metal” sound which is part parody, part laziness, and part lack of creativity. However, there had to be some sort of middle ground where the gentle slide took place, because somewhere between what can be called Darkthrone’s last good black metal album, 1995’s Panzerfaust and today’s era of F.O.A.D. and Dark Thrones And Black Flags, some sort of change had to have occurred. That middle ground could easily be labeled as their 2001 full-length Plaguewielder, an album which still holds fairly firm to their esteemed black metal heritage, but an album which has gaping holes in nearly every single remaining aspect.

Take, for instance, the slight inkling of creativity which Darkthrone once had, however small it may have been. The intuition and desire to write such simple but effective black metal riffs as the lead to “Transilvanian Hunger” is clearly missing on Plaguewielder, an album which saunters through the realm of mish-mashed riffs and highly (even for black metal standards) repetitive songwriting. The guitars are produced in a fairly standard black metal method, very crunchy and laden with reverb, but in the case of this album, that production doesn’t help the atmosphere simply because there are no real atmospheric riffs to create such a mood. Couple this horrid songwriting display with equally embarrassing and cliché lyrical themes, the complexity of which would make a fourth-grader laugh at, and you have an album with literally zero replay value, even for fans of the band.

So, amongst such glorious songs as “Raining Murder” and “Sin Origin”, we have a lifeless black metal album which succeeds in almost nothing besides giving the Darkthrone fans out there the distinct message that, while they are still black metal, they have completely run out of steam. The drumming remains clueless and ineffective and creating a half-decent beat, even the critical blast-beats of black metal are half-assed and uncreative, placed in moments where they aren’t really needed. The vocals of our friend Ted Skjellum sound tired and painfully devoid of pitch-changes or even the slightest hint of emotion. It’s sort of like that warm-up band that you saw live which, amongst the throes of other, more esteemed bands, subsequently fail to get the crowd to even nod their heads with the beat.

That is the effect which Plaguewielder has on the listener; the desire to just sit there and listen, then once the album is done you nearly forgot you were even listening to music in the first place. It is placed in a period of Darkthrone’s career where nobody really remembers anything they recorded, and it was also the period where Nocturno Culto and Fenriz realized they needed to do something drastic to change their sound. For all intents and purposes, Plaguewielder is just one of those albums everyone should simply skip over, because you are missing nothing besides a painfully average display of a style of black metal which died nearly a decade beforehand.



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user ratings (201)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
hydeyomoney
October 29th 2009


934 Comments


i mean you say two of the songs are "glorious", but it still reads like a 1.5-2

Crysis
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


17360 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i mean you say two of the songs are "glorious"


That was sarcasm. I know it reads lower than the score, but to me this album is simply average, which calls for a 2.5.

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


I would still lower the rating and make your personal rating a 2.5. The review feels like a 1-1.5. Glad to see this reviewed in its proper form though and also great to see you call out all of the elitists to neg your review to shit hahaha.

OllieS
October 29th 2009


2145 Comments


Great review. I hate it when bands make albums where you totally forget you listened to them right after they've ended.

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


I hate it when bands make albums where you totally forget you listened to them right after they've ended.

30% of metal tbqh.

Crysis
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


17360 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I would still lower the rating and make your personal rating a 2.5.


Yeah I re-read this and it seemed fit to lower the rating of the review and keep it a personal 2.5.





30% of metal tbqh.


123

Mordecai.
October 29th 2009


8370 Comments


the worst Darkthrone before they went crust.

great review too.

Roach
October 29th 2009


2148 Comments


30% of metal tbqh.



85-90%

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


85-90%

It's because you're a wuss and like bum sex ; ).

illmitch
October 29th 2009


5511 Comments


crust darkthrone rules tbh

good review though

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


Elitist.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


3741 Comments


how is he being an elitist since he likes something you're dismissing hmm doesn't that make you an elitist if anything

Roach
October 29th 2009


2148 Comments


It's because you're a wuss and like bum sex ; ).



you got me!


Crysis
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


17360 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

crust darkthrone rules tbh


No matter how hard I try to get into it, I just can't. I'll just stick with their old stuff. Glad you like the review, though.

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


how is he being an elitist since he likes something you're dismissing hmm doesn't that make you an elitist if anything

Wow, calm down there staffer. He knows I was poking fun. Maybe I should add a ; ) next time, k?

you got me!

It's only out of love.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


3741 Comments


maybe you shouldn't be fucking retarded

Wizard
October 29th 2009


20201 Comments


Don't be too mean to me dude.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 29th 2009


3741 Comments


i apologize the_wizard i got caught up in the moment about DARKTHRONE and thus i am sincerely sorry

Mordecai.
October 29th 2009


8370 Comments


The Cult is Alive is their only decent crust album

R6Rider
October 29th 2009


5192 Comments


f*ck yeah joshuatree!

that motherf*cker wizard told me I need to listen to more metal!



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