Review Summary: Darkthrone is as Darkthrone does.
Darkthrone have had one of the most interesting career paths of any band in recent memory. They actually started off as a death metal band, but of course you know them from the “unholy trinity” of black metal albums back in the 90s. Since then they have undergone numerous changes, including taking a more crust punk approach. Their last release The Underground Resistance
was a thrash and speed-metal influenced mammoth of an album. There is one thing that has bound every era of Darkthrone together though, and that is the excellent and creative riff writing of frontman Nocturno Culto and creative mastermind Fenriz. The dynamic duo have been writing extremely entertaining metal albums since their debut, even though stylistically a lot of their albums are varied.
is perhaps the most black metal influenced album of Darkthrone’s in quite some time. The black metal staples such as the pounding drums and tremolo picked guitars are there as well as a switch from the high falsetto singing of The Underground Resistance
to a more low growling style. The song that combines these the most is opener and album standout “Tundra Leach” that ends on a rip roaring distorted guitar solo. The solos continue to be interesting and work well within the songs on the rest of the album. “Inbred Vermin” is another album standout and is one of their best songs in years ending on an atmospheric mix of cascading drums and melodic riffs. Darkthrone have picked up some new influences during their time off, opting to work a doom approach which creates a dark and brooding atmosphere. The riff writing has never been better than on Arctic Thunder
, with Nocturno Culto and Fenriz combing to create some truly interesting and engaging riffs as they have for about 25 years. Fenriz’s drumming is pretty impressive played at a breakneck pace. Arctic Thunder
sees Darkthrone take a bit of everything from each one of their albums, as well as adding a few new influences to create an engaging and unique album in their discography.
Darkthrone are the undisputed kings of black metal and they continue to lay claim to the throne with Arctic Thunder
. The pure riff writing and atmosphere they create is still unmatched in the genre to this day. One of the best things about Darkthrone is their willingness to try new styles and not write the same album 15 times in a row, which they very well could’ve done. These are just two dudes doing what they love, having the time of their life which is shown through the ending of "The Wyoming Distance" where the two are making jokes in an outtake. Arctic Thunder
is an excellent love letter to the fans that even the casual metal fan will be very impressed with. God bless the kings.