Darkthrone
Old Star


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (276 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2019 | 115 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Old dogs, old stars.

There's something galvanizing about the fall back to a Darkthrone record whenever a listener wants to interpret a mix of old and new. Whether it be the need to appeal to our sense of old school flair, cult status or simply the want to listen to some “trve” authenticity as we "hail" Satan and sacrifice the casual goat to a corpse painted god... Darkthrone has been there. It almost goes without saying that Old Star is the eighteenth full-length the dynamic duo from Norway showcase. And while there’s some subtle, yet consistent changing of sounds from their last offering, Arctic Thunder (the band's most recent foray into doom metal inspired blackness) and the sensual, if somewhat self-plagiarised fluidity of The Underground Resistance which took direct inspiration from every little genre variance the band has offered since Panzerfaust. However it's in 2019 that Darkthrone releases an album that is undoubtedly a loose take on rock n’ roll and the band’s love for doom, capitalizing on their Old Star the way only they know how, while simultaneously pulling on the soul-strings of their nostalgia-biased fan base.

Old Star is a direct movement into the world of doom laced metal, done with all the traditional-ism only a band like Darkthrone could muster. It's an achievement, as authentic and bold as this band has ever been but the rock laced tendencies showcase a musical awareness built from the very foundation of experience. The riff heavy plodding onslaught of "I Muffle Your Inner Choir" sets the tone immediately, paving an ambitious landscape full of the usual metal cred. The traditional meets vintage doom feel offers slanderous rapture in place of icy fire. But it's the atmosphere captured that lifts one train of thought directly into the next. The track itself is a placation of a traditional black metal opus, but the tempo makes it largely laden within its own mid-paced vigor that wouldn’t be too far out of place within a Black Sabbath or Grand Magus album. Old Star it seems, pays direct homage to the music that defined the very essence of a great riff, not to mention some slight leanings on the NWoBHM scene.

It’s clear that Darkthrone opt for the tried and true methodology in regards to their songwriting styles. Where Old Star sees no sign for opulence or innovation, the duo’s practices for the ritualistic dark arts of rock-laced doom simply triumphs where copycat acts fail. Fairly, the band’s listeners may give credence to a band (or rather brand) with a caliber preset for success, but there’s definitely more going on here than a simple repetition of done before ideas summarized into yet another Darkthrone record. The early octane shown throughout “I Muffle Your Inner Choir” melds Darkthrone’s typical raspy growl onto a bedrock of near rapturous riffs. The sound reminisces completely with the late 70s and 80s celebrating quite simply, the power of a riff. As Old Star progresses the atmosphere behind the new album begins to creep further and further into existence and by the time listeners are greeted with “Alp Man” (which isn’t to say you should be skipping “The Hardship Of The Scots” and the title track - because you really shouldn’t) the hulking swagger of Old Star is in full-force. The bruising appeal to Darkthrone’s music hasn’t exactly changed over the years and while they will lean from one genre direction into the next, there’s a consistent approach to holding quality. “Alp Man” is but one example of the well-working Darkthrone formula. The track bleeds into the tempo, centering the slight sludge tinged doom vibe. When “Duke Of Gloat” arrives, so does Darkthrone’s blacker themes. The tempo lifts, snapping the listener out of the numbing lull of “Alp Man”s hypnotic rhythm. It’s from here that the record hints towards their older material and with “The Key Is Inside The Wall” both Fenriz and Nocturno bring back the doom laden ‘everythings’ that makes this album a new centerpiece for new “old-school” music.

All in all it is hard to exactly pinpoint what makes Old Star such a solid, successful record without investing a whole lot of time in the Darkthrone brand. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto may not have released the same album twice but they have certainly hybridized a lot of their back catalog into this hulking doom fest. Old Star will not (and should not) see the same praise as A Blaze In The Northern Sky or Under A Funeral Moon but will likely fall into the same worship shown to records like F.O.A.D., The Underground Resistance and even Arctic Thunder with more relevance to their most recent outputs. That aside, Old Star is a worthy addition to the band’s long list of achievements, polarized only by the band’s ability to shift their sound within whatever scale they prefer. These old dogs need no tricks, instead they offer the same consistent formula at their eviscerating pleasure.



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user ratings (139)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is Crysis' house, I'm just paying rent.

Digging: Gnaw Their Tongues - An Eternity Of Suffering, An Eternity Of Pain

MikeMadeAnAlt
June 2nd 2019


35 Comments


Will definitely check this.

Pikazilla
June 2nd 2019


653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, excellent album. Bring on the riffage!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


16034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man! I played with the possibility of revving this too, but only came up.with a summary lol



Album's a bangers collection.

Digging: Fire! Orchestra - Arrival

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but only came up.with a summary lol




you were stuck trying to figure out what hasn't already been said 17 times already weren't you?



Thnaks my Dew

Trifolium
June 2nd 2019


6765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to hear this!

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kind of surprised this has less than 50 rates at this point in time.

garas
June 2nd 2019


999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"kind of surprised this has less than 50 rates at this point in time." [2]

The whole album is a massive riff avalanche, for me 'Alp Man' and 'The Key is Inside the Wall' are totally new favourites from them.

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Schattengang

TheNotrap
June 2nd 2019


11096 Comments


Nice review, as always

I'll check it eventually



Digging: Xentrix - Bury The Pain

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You mean shortly, right?

TheNotrap
June 2nd 2019


11096 Comments


Yeah in the next couple of days, I'm in Batushka mode at the moment ;)

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

An album I haven't graced yet. Currently jamming an Abbath promo

TheNotrap
June 2nd 2019


11096 Comments


Yeah I saw your soundoff, sounds promising. Looking forward to jam it

Horfeepee01
June 2nd 2019


18 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album fuckin riffs

Digging: Alien Weaponry - T?

RustCohle
June 2nd 2019


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice review, this is their best effort since their early BM heydays!

Digging: Deathspell Omega - The Furnaces of Palingenesia

Pikazilla
June 2nd 2019


653 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


16034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The summary was great though!



"Sgt. Fenriz Blackened Hearts Punk Band" and then I would go on how Darkthrone don't play live anymore like the Beatles did and blah blah blah...



I know, I know, genius right?

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2019


9597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd read it for sure

Hawks
June 2nd 2019


71529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/ m/ m/

Digging: Deus Mortem - Kosmocide

necropig
June 2nd 2019


5425 Comments


https://musickcadas.bigcartel.com/product/darkthrone-old-star?fbclid=IwAR1hDIDcRf7Skeze3j9FGrZjOQeq6JWtICecC_4pTcLT8-j7_Iz0uBDDVyY

Cool LS of this

Digging: Andavald - Undir skyggarhaldi



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