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Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath

Norway's Black Metal veterans are back yet again with another sonic platter of amplified evil, a release that will probably please long-time fans. Sardonic Wrath is heavily steeped in 80's black metal, which was a time when bands like Darkthrone, Venom, Bathory, and Celtic Frost were putting the genre on the map. The problem here is that Darlthrone have been doing this sort of thing for years now, and while newer bands like Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar have been releasing adventurous and fresh sounding symphonic gems that are progressing the genre, Darkthrone have been sort of stuck in the same rut. Mind you, there are some cool doomy guitar riffs here on some of the slower cuts, courtesy of Nocturno Culto, which add a nice balance to the speedier tunes that are littered with evil, gargled shrieking from the guitarist, whose vocal delivery tends to get a little monotonous after a while. He's at his most effective on the pummeling "Rawness Obsolete", a mid-tempo dirge with dark & heavy riffs and pounding drums from Fenriz.

In essence, there's really nothing new or groundbreaking going on here. Metal officionados who have developed a taste for more sophisticated extreme fare will probably be bored with this latest from Darkthrone, which, even with a few interesting riffs, becomes ponderous after a few listens. Add in the barely over 30 minute CD length and you have a a new release that you can probably pass on unless you need to own everything the band records.

Track Listing
1. Order Of The Ominous
2. Information Wants To Be Syndicated
3. Sjakk Matt Jesu Krist
4. Straightening Sharks In Heaven
5. Alle Gegen Alle
6. Man Tenker Sitt
7. Sacrificing To The God Of Doubt
8. Hate Is The Law
9. Rawness Obsolete

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: The End Records
Hits: 5331
Language: english

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Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-01-19 14:18:20
My Score:

It was interesting to hear this recording by Darkthrone for a couple of reasons. The first is that while this Norwegian deliverer of the Black Metal genre has been around since 1986 that they have not really seemed to grow and mature in the genre. As I listened I found myself eager to skip around the CD rather than complete each song to a full listen. This was due to the limited scope of the recording and the absolute absence of anything new. Instead this is an album full of "been there and done that". The past few years for Black Metal have been interesting in the developments made by Dimmu Borgir and others like Borknagar. Taking the roots of their Black Metal styling and then incorporating numerous aspect such as mixed vocals and orchestrations. Such things are not selling out but instead fostering the genre for a new generation and making it fresh for those who have followed them for years. As a result of this lack of forward thinking Darkthrone risks staying at the same level of support and their effect on music of this style to stagnate. Perhaps they are comfortable in this position or perhaps they don't care to change. Either way I found nothing of interest on this album and can recommend that only core followers or die hards look into this. Everyone else should pass. The CD does come with lyrics and a couple of ominous images for the fan to enjoy.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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