Review Summary: Darkthrone at their true roots feature lots of crust punk and death metal influence, but there are hints of what was to come.
If you know anything about extreme metal, you’ll know Darkthrone are one of the most important bands in the entire genre. They’ve crafted black metal classics such as Blaze in the Northern Sky
and Transilvanian Hunger
, which feature dark melodies, dynamic shifts, blast beats, satanic lyrics and vocals, and poor production. While the poor production aspect is usually a turn off for people, Darkthrone, as well as almost every other black metal band, just make it work so well that it adds to the atmosphere. But, what is there to find in Darkthrone’s first few demos" Well to be honest, nothing wildly different from their subsequent efforts.
A New Dimension
appears to be their most praised demo by far, and it surely deserves that spot. There is actually some musical maturity to be found on this release, where instead of just trying to be as fast or technical as possible, they throw in a lot of melodic parts, dynamic shifts, and a quite inspired sound. Vocals are completely absent from the one official song on this tape, “Snowfall”, which is a bit of a gripe, but it stays interesting throughout. The intro track, “Twilight Dimension”, appears to just be weather sounds similar to “Black Sabbath”. These of course, are incredibly lo-fi, but it kind of adds to the overall feel as I said before. For the one real song, it opens with what sounds like the same exact riff from Death’s “Infernal Death”, but it has a place in here. It will occasionally shift from slow to fast, but it doesn’t ever feel too jittery or anything like that. So, the song has diversity to it, but it’s basically a crust punk-influenced death metal song.
A New Dimension
is a solid, quick, and straight to the point demo. It sounds surprisingly accessible, but that is most likely due to the lack of vocals. Darkthrone show signs of maturity in their one song here, but there are certain aspects that would be improved upon. Of course, the production wouldn’t ever really get better, but the musicianship got much better, the addition of vocals was a plus, and the atmosphere would get much darker. This would be a good listen for those interested in the roots of Darkthrone, or black metal for that matter. To end it, A New Dimension
is a satisfying, raw, and interesting demo tape.