Rating:
8.3
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
25 February 2013


01. Dead Early
02. Valkyrie
03. Lesser Men
04. The Ones You Left Behind
05. Come Warfare, The Entire Doom
06. Leave No Cross Unturned


Sometimes articulating what it is you love about a band's music can, to an extent, damage the magic the music in question has on you. Sometimes. So, as a Darkthrone fanboy, it feels like I should approach all this delicately.

Cos Darkthrone's the fucking tits. All hail Darkthrone \ m /

Their previous four full lengths seem to have, in general, successfully split their fanbase in two. On one side you've got the fans of their old kvlt stuff exclusively, the "the fuck is this wannabe 80s punk shit" people, and on the other you have the "if you don't like this, you don't like real metal, so FOAD" types. I lean toward the latter side. Their newer stuff teems and sloshes with the kind of inebriated energy I love most from heavy music. Their older stuff? Some of it kinda did, some of it didn't at all.

So, for a clear disclaimer, if you're a fan of ONLY their old albums*, you probably won't enjoy this one**. In fact, there's probably less black metal here than ever before on their albums.

That said, The Underground Resistance is different enough for at least some of those put off by their newer stuff to come back to the Darkthrone party***. It all sounds slightly more carefully planned than their previous four discs. It's a bit less brash and sounds a bit more thoughtfully produced. It's still got the Fenriz-brand, church of real metal, FOAD attitude and ethos to it, but it's been toned down. Their four discs directly preceding this one really emphasize their reckless sonic brushstrokes—background studio sounds, feedback noises, etc.--this album is more tightly put together.

Despite some hideous attempts at harmonizing on "The Ones You Left Behind," the vocals are, in general, better and more ranged than in the past (especially from Fenriz on "Leave No Cross Unturned," where, according to him on some interview on one of our immeasurably inferior competitors' websites, he said he channels Geoff Tate circa 1984 more than King Diamond, which he does well), the riffs and tunes are catchier than ever (check out the epic and surprisingly moving "Valkyrie"), and the drumming is as energetic as before. Technically, they're sounding sharper than they have in years. Technically.

I just don't know if I like the more taut, less crusty aesthetic of it all quite as much--we got a taste of it on Circle The Wagons, but the balance on that album is more to my liking.

Nevertheless, that's fully a matter of tweaking and taste and, when all's said and done here, this is yet another damn fine album from them****. Not to be missed stuff.



Fanboy asides:
*You suck.
**Then again, I doubt you'll like any good album because your ears clearly don't work.
***To come groveling back, awaken from their tasteless stupor with their stupid fucking corpsepaint smudged by their stupid fucking tears.
****I <3 Fenriz & Nocturno Culto (^。^)


Band profile: Darkthrone
Album: The Underground Resistance


 



Written on 03.03.2013 by
wormdrink414
Wormdrink's real name is George and he works at a convenience store in the Eugene/Springfield area.
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!J.O.O.E.! - 03.03.2013 at 19:34  
I like and love some of the old albums, and I like and love some of the new ones, but I don't like this. Once you've gotten used to the nice meaty and ballsy sound all I was left with was some flat and uninteresting songwriting. The attitude of black metal, and recently punk are all missing from this.
tea[m]ster - 03.03.2013 at 19:45  
Tried this. If I need something simple and dumb-downed I'll play it.
ANGEL REAPER - 03.03.2013 at 19:45  
I for one love this album...
DelightfulJim - 03.03.2013 at 20:04  
I like the new album, for the most part. It felt like they were taking the piss out of the underground metal aesthetic, rather than pay homage to it. Either that, or "The Ones You Left Behind"'s vocal harmonies really were genuinely horrid and not done ironically.
Verdun_sc - 03.03.2013 at 21:49  
8.3 is about accurate. I very much enjoyed it, loved that they seem to be taking the piss, and I enjoyed the songwriting and the riff lexicon. It's filled to the brim with great riffing really, and just swagger everywhere. It's not great, but I think I enjoy it as much or more than any of their immediate preceding records (all of which are also good).
Unhealer - 04.03.2013 at 00:11  
This is just one of those albums that is fun and really enjoyable but you just know you can't really rate it too high
mojo - 04.03.2013 at 01:59  
These guys have never been one of my favourite favourites but I kind of liked this album. Plenty of Black-ish and Crusty riffage, the opener combines them pretty much perfectly.

Valkyrie unaccountably reminded me of Helloween's How Many Tears but that was OK somehow. The middle of the album gets that Black / Crust mix working pretty well, some nice harmonies and dissonances here and there and it's a nice clear production to be sure.

Overall I like the last track best, I thought it's got a very old school thrash vibe to it, from the cheesy fucking title ("Leave No Cross Unturned" for fuck sake - well, it made me smile) to the super clean bass high up in the mix.

Bit dull at times but kinda cute and if someone had never heard Darkthrone I wouldn't tell them to avoid this one.
wormdrink414 - 04.03.2013 at 02:33  
Written by DelightfulJim on 03.03.2013 at 20:04

I like the new album, for the most part. It felt like they were taking the piss out of the underground metal aesthetic, rather than pay homage to it. Either that, or "The Ones You Left Behind"'s vocal harmonies really were genuinely horrid and not done ironically.

Definitely more a case of homage gone wrong with the vox in "The Ones," not them poking fun at old metal. And they always seem to make up for that kind of thing rapidly enough, the second part of that song has one of the catchiest, most grab the sky's tits epic riffs on the album. Love that riff.
Apothecary - 04.03.2013 at 03:06  
I tried this and the previous album and it just didn't click. But I tend to give albums at least three spins before giving up, so in another week or two I'll probably give it another go.
Good review too man, there's nothing wrong with sticking true to a band you love.
Malignar - 05.03.2013 at 01:13  
Good review, I just dislike punk riffs/music too much to rate this very high.
BitterCOld - 05.03.2013 at 04:09  
I'm enjoying this one thus far. high seven rounded up to an 8 for now. we'll see after another couple weeks/spins.
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.03.2013 at 14:31  
Written by wormdrink414 on 04.03.2013 at 02:33


Definitely more a case of homage gone wrong with the vox in "The Ones," not them poking fun at old metal.


Nope, homage hasn't gone wrong. Remember it is NOT a homage to Mercyful Fate/King Diamond there, but to Agent Steel and Exciter. And it is totaally Agent Steel Exciter mix you hear there during the first half of the song, and totally NOT MF/KD
exus - 05.03.2013 at 18:16  
Definitely their strongest album of late. I really dig the diverse textures on this album. The boys blend elements of thrash, punk, doom, and viking metal in a sort of NWOBHM blender. The result is a deliciously metal platter squarely of the old-school. Great stuff.
wormdrink414 - 05.03.2013 at 22:29  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.03.2013 at 14:31

Nope, homage hasn't gone wrong. Remember it is NOT a homage to Mercyful Fate/King Diamond there, but to Agent Steel and Exciter. And it is totaally Agent Steel Exciter mix you hear there during the first half of the song, and totally NOT MF/KD


I just meant "gone wrong" in that I don't like they way it sounds, not that it's MFish.
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.03.2013 at 22:35  
Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2013 at 22:29

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.03.2013 at 14:31

Nope, homage hasn't gone wrong. Remember it is NOT a homage to Mercyful Fate/King Diamond there, but to Agent Steel and Exciter. And it is totaally Agent Steel Exciter mix you hear there during the first half of the song, and totally NOT MF/KD


I just meant "gone wrong" in that I don't like they way it sounds, not that it's MFish.


I know you don't mean it like it sounds like whatever, I however do you think you meant that it sounds off-key when in fact it isn't off-key
wormdrink414 - 05.03.2013 at 22:44  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.03.2013 at 22:35

I know you don't mean it like it sounds like whatever, I however do you think you meant that it sounds off-key when in fact it isn't off-key

I need an Agent Steel/Exciter refresher/introduction.
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.03.2013 at 22:48  
Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2013 at 22:44


I need an Agent Steel/Exciter refresher/introduction.



here to make it extremely easy for you
Especially pay close attention to the vocals in the chorus




And some Exciter, although that band is less obvious

wormdrink414 - 05.03.2013 at 23:13  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.03.2013 at 22:48

here to make it extremely easy for you
Especially pay close attention to the vocals in the chorus

Know Agents of Steel, tasty, tasty song.

Same tastiness goes for the other one. (Another reason Darkthrone kicks ass is getting introduced to some of the bands they're influenced by.)

As for their connection to "The Ones" though, I still don't hear much of them vox-wise. Hear them on "Leave No Cross Unturned," sure, but for the former it just sounds more like what Fenriz was doing in Isengard to me...

That's my metal knowledge for you, "Fenriz sounds like Fenriz."
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.03.2013 at 11:37  
Written by wormdrink414 on 05.03.2013 at 23:13


Know Agents of Steel, tasty, tasty song.

Same tastiness goes for the other one. (Another reason Darkthrone kicks ass is getting introduced to some of the bands they're influenced by.)

As for their connection to "The Ones" though, I still don't hear much of them vox-wise. Hear them on "Leave No Cross Unturned," sure, but for the former it just sounds more like what Fenriz was doing in Isengard to me...

That's my metal knowledge for you, "Fenriz sounds like Fenriz."



Apparently I am totally losing it and have been reading your posts and review here wrong for days, because somehow I was of the impression the entire time that you were talking about 'Leave No Cross Unturned' instead of 'The Ones'
UnknownCheese - 06.03.2013 at 19:02  
Fenriz's vocals are terrible. The guy just can't pull off trad/epic metal. The genre has tons of weird vocalists that manage to gel with the music, but he's not one of them.

Shame about the music too.
Slayer666 - 17.04.2013 at 18:34  
This album is kinda sad until you get to the vocals. Then it's just outright depressing.
MandoMikey - 02.05.2013 at 17:29  
I like the raw and catchy feeling on this, many points are pure unadulterated headbang territory. there are times when i feel it is rather trying to sound outdated, but judging from the interviews, it seems this may have been the entire point. Good release when listened to objectively without expecting anything mind blowing or groundbreaking. right, ima go listen to some black metal now....
Sincarnator - 26.07.2013 at 21:49  
Ultimate piece i wud say.. cant stop listening to Dead Early and Lesser Men

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