I'm not entirely sure every item on my list of anticipated albums of 2013 will actually be released in 2013 - there's no info about the new Arctic Monkeys album :((( - but either way, the albums I was chomping at the bit for are slowly trickling down the pipe. February saw the release of Darkthrone's new album and, as always, people were praising it left and right. As per usual, I preferred to let the waters settle before digging in and having a feel for it myself.
It's not my favorite.
The Underground Resistance is yet another step on the Norwegian duo's own carved path of incorporating various influences into their music. The last years saw them infuse their music with punk-ish, Venom-ish, speed metal-ish vibes, and it was great. I loved the shit out of Circle the Wagons. This time around, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto went for a more traditional, heavy metal-inspired sound, bringing back fond memories of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol and Bathory.
Unfortunately, memories alone were not enough to fight the utter boredom instilled by the second half of the album. While it starts out really promising, delivering some sweet dinosaur metal worship and plenty of clean vocals - Valkyrie is my favorite track by far - it gradually loses steam until the anti-climax called Leave No Cross Unturned hits you like a pillow thrown by an old man with its 13 minutes of boring, repetitive riffs that go absolutely nowhere. The disappointment that settled in my soul upon the ending of said track was akin to the one I felt that day I tried to be br00tal, but my mom didn't let me. The lack of any memorable riffs or any memorable anything, for that matter - except, again, for Valkyrie - is what will forever deter me from listening to this album ever again. There's simply nothing here to grab my attention.
And of course, I know. This is Darkthrone. These guys are living legends. You can't say anything bad about them, lest you anger the legions of trve metal warriors and get trampled under a thousand black combat boots for your insolence. With this in mind, I can agree that The Underground Resistance is an alright album, but it's definitely not the jewel of the crown.
Because of how dull it is.