Rating:
8.4
Darkthrone - Plaguewielder
2001


01. Weakling Avenger
02. Raining Murder
03. Sin Origin
04. Command
05. I, Voidhanger
06. Wreak


Plaguewielder saw the band starting to emerge from the malaise of the late 90s (ugh to Total Death) and prior to the punk injection of their more recent releases. For the most the approach is their style of black metal, only with punchier production than in the past. Perhaps the fact it doesn't sound like it was recorded by a Fisher Price "My First Microphone" and feature one of the band members dressed in corpsepaint and snarling at Alpha Centauri on the cover is why it doesn't get the run that their older output does.

While the highpoints in this album might not match the highs of prior or later albums, as a whole I think each track is consistently good. I find myself enjoying it start to finish, from the creepy intro bit to the closing "Transylvanian Hunger II: The Sequel" melody bits found within "Wreak".

And speaking of enjoyable… Disc Two, the band's commentary, is utterly hilarious. Rather than a grainy AVI video of them taking turns yapping into a camera, this time they basically give it the same treatment as the director's commentary on your favorite movie, with the songs playing in the background while Fenriz and Nocturno Tedo talk over them.

The approach is informal - you can hear them cracking open cans of beer during the commentary - and it's really cool to hear them remark and joke away. Fenriz in particular was hilarious, commenting on the opening ("This is how triggered drums make me feel… weak.") to ripping on fans ("some illiterates think this is called Plaguewilder… it's wielder! To wield. ), his kit ("This cymbal sucks") to himself ("this song would be better with another drummer.") Nocturno Culto is a great straight man*, playing the Bud Abbott to Fenriz' Lou Costello. Initially I wasn't that fired up over the approach, but I've had the disk for all of a couple days now and probably listened to their comedy stylings … er… self-critique eight or nine times already. It is just that entertaining. Perhaps they could rework that comedic duo's opus as a black metal bit… "Who's on bass?"

I'd score the album a high 7 on its own, and add almost a full point for the commentary.

If you've been on the fence about buying this album to round out your collection, by all means do so - but be sure to get the double disk re-issue.


*All old-tyme comedic duos had the comic and the straight man, the guy who didn't crack up and maintained a serious persona. The straight men got paid a larger cut as it was a tough gig to have brilliant comedians on in front of you and not break character.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Darkthrone
Album: Plaguewielder


 



Written on 24.04.2012 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Lit 2.0 - 24.04.2012 at 20:11  
Quote:

*All old-tyme comedic duos had the comic and the straight man, the guy who didn't crack up and maintained a serious persona. The straight men got paid a larger cut as it was a tough gig to have brilliant comedians on in front of you and not break character.


The younger generation appreciates this aid in comprehending your old generation humor.
Zealot644 - 24.04.2012 at 22:26  
I cannot seem to find this on youtube or anything. I keep finding links to a band with an album under the exact same name but it's from 2001.
!J.O.O.E.! - 24.04.2012 at 22:28  
Written by Zealot644 on 24.04.2012 at 22:26

I cannot seem to find this on youtube or anything. I keep finding links to a band with an album under the exact same name but it's from 2001.

That's because this is a reissue of the 2001 album ;]
Zealot644 - 24.04.2012 at 22:39  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 24.04.2012 at 22:28

Written by Zealot644 on 24.04.2012 at 22:26

I cannot seem to find this on youtube or anything. I keep finding links to a band with an album under the exact same name but it's from 2001.

That's because this is a reissue of the 2001 album ;]


That was another theory I had...

The 2001 release doesnt sound too bad.
Slayer666 - 24.04.2012 at 22:41  
"Command" is one of their best tracks, although I'm not pleased about the rest of the album.
Vombatus - 24.04.2012 at 23:29  
Didn't listen to the commented version, but this is probably my least favorite release by them (along with Total Death, maybe).
It's still decent (it's f'n DT !), some is almost very good (Raining Murder/Command) but overall I find it a bit lacking... specially the riffs, that aren't as memorable as usual.
M C Vice - 25.04.2012 at 06:40  
"All old-tyme comedic duos had the comic and the straight man, the guy who didn't crack up and maintained a serious persona. The straight men got paid a larger cut as it was a tough gig to have brilliant comedians on in front of you and not break character."

And thats why Zeppo was the most underrated of the Marx brothers.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 10:03  
Written by Vombatus on 24.04.2012 at 23:29
I find it a bit lacking... specially the riffs, that aren't as memorable as usual.

Blame simplistic riffs on Fenriz.

M C Vice - 25.04.2012 at 11:49  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.04.2012 at 10:03

Written by Vombatus on 24.04.2012 at 23:29
I find it a bit lacking... specially the riffs, that aren't as memorable as usual.

Blame simplistic riffs on Fenriz.



That can't be Fenriz. He hasn't got a beer can or a cigarette.
Troy Killjoy - 25.04.2012 at 17:25  
Written by M C Vice on 25.04.2012 at 11:49
That can't be Fenriz. He hasn't got a beer can or a cigarette.

That's because he just finished them both, he's waiting on replacements.
Mr. Doctor - 25.04.2012 at 17:31  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.04.2012 at 17:25

Written by M C Vice on 25.04.2012 at 11:49
That can't be Fenriz. He hasn't got a beer can or a cigarette.

That's because he just finished them both, he's waiting on replacements.


Oh, that's why he looks a bit cranky.
Cynic Metalhead - 26.04.2012 at 07:50  
In a nutshell, focus on commentary parts and give a fuck out to the songs they re-issued cause that is how they are developing it.
squidrick420 - 04.02.2013 at 22:52  
Sadly i don't have the reissue, i only have the original, but i am lucky in the fact its a limited edition digipack. I enjoy this album quite a bit, it isn't my favorite, but it isn't anywhere near bad! It is also the first Darkthrone album I ever got, ultimately sparking my interest in them.

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