Darkthrone: F.O.A.D.
Darkthrone - F.O.A.D. - [Peaceville Records]


I have to admit I'm quite well equipped to recognize the magic that lies in the heart of the mighty Darkthrone's latest masterpiece, I've started listening to metal in the late 80's, admittedly not as old-school as the guys from the band, but still early enough to understand the magic of finding a rare, really heavy LP in a second-hand store, when early releases from Britain's Peaceville records ruled my world. This album is all but a tribute to the kind of metal that started me out in this music, and the list of album's these guys recommend at the end of the booklet mostly plays like my own playlist in 1989.

Musically speaking, I had a rough time with the some of the band's releases prior to their last EP- NWOBHM, I like my metal raw, but when the basis is more thrash-like, The Cult Is Alive's unrelenting aural assault just left me numb, not as excited as I was with the material here. This album is the band doing the kind of music that influenced them the most, with plenty of raw energy and a surprising amount of sincerity, unafraid to sound like young fans rather than one of Norway's veteran and most respected extreme metal bands.

The sound is raw, but quite listenable, and the minute the opener – These Shores Are Damned kicks in, there's no letting down the pace here. Canadian Metal comes off as early Venom combined with some early stuff by Canadian masters Razor, The Church Of Real Metal has some primitive melodies and plenty of convincing atmosphere, this is the kind of stuff I enjoyed in those early releases by Peaceville, when LP's by bands such as Autopsy and Axegrinder made my day.

Both guys handle the vocals here, and both have a definite old-school charm about them, Nocturno Culto's voice is more varied and closer to the black metal shrieks the band is famous for, while Fenriz sounds surprisingly similar to Motorhead's Lemmy in such tracks such as Fuck Off And Die. I have to say that the liner notes here were part of the fun for me, both educating in the ways of old-school metal and also serving as a peephole into the inner workings of these demented geniuses minds.

One of most rewarding and powerfully raw metal releases in recent years, these guys are still something quite unique in today's music scene.

Oh yea, fantastic cover artwork too BTW.

Alon Miasnikov

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