|Classic Review: Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger|
Label: Peaceville Records
Year released: 1994
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 27, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.31/5 (86.19%) (84 Votes)
Whoa, note to self: do not try and sit through several Darkthrone albums in a row, even in order to compare them. After plowing through "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" and "Under A Funeral Moon" I was too tenderized to really pay attention to this one, so I had to put it away and try again another day. This was Darkthrone's fourth album, and widely hailed as their best and a classic of Black Metal.
I actually think this album is kind of dull. Okay, the opener (and title track) is a pretty cool song, but it is unfortunately also easily the best song on here. The rest of the album is a succession of songs that all sound exactly like each other (and I mean moreso than is normal for a BM album). Much has been made of this CD being the ultimate in grim, cold Black Metal. But actually I think "Under A Funeral Moon" is the classic, and this is where Darkthrone started going through the motions. They'd started as a Death Metal band, but switched to Black Metal after one album, perhaps meaning to switch to something else later, we will never know. As they discovered that BM is a one-way street. The one thing Black Metal bands don't get to do is evolve. So here Darkthrone found a nice, safe level of production – not too harsh, not too clean – tamed the vocals a bit, and settled in for the long groove. It's surprising how middle-of-the-road this album sounds. I mean, for "Norsk Arisk Black Metal" this is pretty tame-sounding.
So aside from one good track this is just okay, and I don't see what the furor is all about here. "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" was more exciting, and "Under A Funeral Moon" was much grimmer and colder. I know, I know I am going to hear some protests when I am essentially calling this revered album a sellout record, but I really think it is. Go listen to the uncompromising hate of "Under A Funeral Moon" and then this one, and then look me in the eye and tell me this is just as good. It just isn't. This is worth getting for fans of the band, but is hardly an epochal release. You want to know what grim and cold are, get "Funeral Moon…" instead.
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