DARKTHRONE — Circle the Wagons (review)

DARKTHRONE — Circle the Wagons album cover Album · 2010 · Crust Punk Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Darkthrone have been a band I've had a fond interest in for a few years. If I'm being honest...I haven't heard any of their early stuff. I know it exists, I just haven't gotten around to listening to any of it or finding any of their albums in shops.

I know of the dramatic change these guys have done and I know there is mixed feelings towards their change from Black Metal to a more Crust Punk sound, but in all fairness...I'm all for it.

I respect these guys more than I enjoy their music. It takes a lot of guts to just do what you want these days...and this is exactly what these guys. They do what they want, release when they want and just do it for the pure enjoyment. Also, I totally respect the bands ideals of supporting how music is bought and sold (e.g. CDs, vinyls, tapes)

So...having enjoyed there past few releases (FOAD and Dark Thrones & Black Flags)...how does this one match up.

I admit, I do prefer the direction these guys are going in. With less of a black metal feel, and more of a nostalgic metal feel, the band are progressing into nostalgia (a paradox, if you must know) in a very positive light. With there influences shining forth, the band may not be bringing something incredibly new to the table, but its still what these guys enjoy doing.

Some criticisms can be pretty obvious, for example, the vocals at times sound very badly recorded and even the instruments can have a lack lustre feeling at times. But...the material is still there. And in all fairness, the album has better songs and recording quality than The Sex Pistols first album.

1. Those Treasures Will Never Befall You – A brilliant intro to the album. Great mix of thras, punk and Viking metal. I love Fenriz's vocals in this song. 9/10

2. Running For Borders – A song that gives me an early Iron Maiden vibe for some odd reason. The vocals are the weakest point on this song. Not a big fan of Nocturno's fake Cronos vocals. 6/10

3. I Am The Graves Of The 80's – A weird title for a song. I like the thrashy vibe to the song, but the quality of the vocals I'm not 100% loving. Great riffs throughout. 7/10

4. Stylized Corpse – Probably has some of the most interesting lyrics in a Darkthrone song. A very doomy and gloomy song. One of the most 'black metal' moments on the album. 9/10

5. Circle The Wagons – One of my favourite Darkthrone songs. I was imprised by Fenriz's clean vocals in this song. A song that incorporates all of the bands influences into one. Pretty impressive composition. 10/10

6. Black Mountain Totem – One of the more epic moments on the album. Some really killer riffs on this song. Shame, the vocals let the song down. 7/10

7. I Am The Working Class – A very cheesy and punky song. Being working class myself, I can relate to the lyrics. I like the suprising ending at the end as well. 9/10

8. Eyes Burst At Dawn – Another song mixing traditional metal with black metal vocals. A bit like a slow Venom. I love the phaser on the guitar solo. 6/10

9. Bränn Inte Slotte – An interesting instrumental to end off the album. One of the strongest songs on the album, oddly enough. 9/10

CONCLUSION: Darkthrone by far aren't my favourite band. I do like them, and I kind of buy their albums now, mainly because they are an underground band, and I really respect what they do. This is my favourite album by them so far, and I might even take a listen to the new album as well. I like the direction these guys are going in, especially with the nostalgia feel towards the songs.

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