Darkthrone - Plaguewielder review
01. Weakling Avenger
02. Raining Murder
03. Sin Origin
05. I, Voidhanger
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.
||Written on 24.04.2012 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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