Darkthrone - Oldstar (Peaceville)
Just when you thought you knew what to expect from a band that you have spent your youth listening to, the band decided to up the ante leaving you slightly gobsmacked at the end of their new album.
Thirty eight minutes; that’s all Darkthrone needed with Oldstar to make me hit repeat and listen to the album all over again trying to understand what happened there. Vocals, definitely Culto? Check! Drums, surely that’s Fenriz? Check! Let me quickly check the front cover… Nope that definitely looks like Darkthrone and the band name is on there. In that case, let me introduce you to one of Darkthrone’s most diverse releases. Produced by Sanford Parker (hello crystal clear bass and drums!), Oldstar maintains a feeling of old-school black metal luring you in and making you feel comfortable before it hits you with its rock n’ roll (or shall I say black n’ roll?) vibes.
That said, this album is not an easy listen. It may take you a few spins before you’re able to unfold every single layer and mood that Darkthrone have managed to pack in there. Culto’s vocals are remarkable and not just for their diversity in style but for their different attitudes throughout the album. Not many vocalists have the ability to channel so many different genre elements from both their throat and their mind. The simplistic guitar licks stay with you for hours after the end of the album proving that there’s no need for frivolities in music in order to pack a punch.
How can these two keep coming up with ideas to shake up a genre that many think is dying a slow death? I’m not sure but I know you’re going to like it!