|Review: Darkthrone - Plague Wielder|
Label: Moonfog Productions
Year released: 2001
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 14, 2001
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (36 Votes)
Colors on a Darkthrone album cover? I'll be damned! Darkthrone's latest offering boasts a slightly better production than previous albums and also includes a number of more or less catchy riffs that step away a little from the band's signature sound, but without changing it too much either.
Six songs make up this album, all pretty much in the vein of "old" Darkthrone - at least better than their more recent albums. As noted earlier, some songs contain some catchy riffs and melodies, in one case - "Command" - I could swear a few seconds of the song came directly from the album "Chaos Supreme" by French band Hegemon - the resemblance is striking! I wouldn't mind that at all if it didn't sound a bit out of place in the song. Nothing to lose sleep over anyway. In fact, other than that, I don't really have anything bad to say about this album (the fifth song, "I, Voidhanger" has an annoying beat for the first minute though.) Except for some catchy parts, the music here is fast, raw, dark and at times conveys some hate and anger well associated with the genre. In short, it's Darkthrone, with better guitar work than in previous releases. Some of the drum work is quite memorable too.
Overall the songs are pretty fast, with a cleaner sound a played better than in previous releases - I still wouldn't call Darkthrone's music "more accessible" because of that. I find this album a lot better than its predecessor "Ravishing Grimness", and it retains the band's sound without sounding repetitive either. A strong album that proves that Darkthrone has still got what it takes. Longtime fans have probably picked this up already, others will want to give it a try.
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