Darkthrone
The Underground Resistance

Slice it and dice it any you’d like, but The Underground Resistance is Darkthrone doing what Darkthrone does best: that being whatever the Darkthrone wants to do. What that has meant on the last few albums especially (and back even further when you really think about it) is that Fenriz and Nocturno have immersed themselves in the classic metal that has always been near and dear to their hearts, given it a few lashings from the Darkthrone bullwhip, and spewed forth a whole lot of righteousness. Black streaks and punk leanings notwithstanding the reference points are many, whether it is Manilla Road, Exciter, Sacrifice, or a host of “cult” acts too numerous to count. And let’s face it; the duo translates those influences into a sound that continues to be unmistakably Darkthrone, even if it is not the church-burnt blackening that defines the early classic albums.

An examination of the album’s innards reveals three gnarly and knurled cuts from Fenriz (“torn from the wombs of the riders of rohan of metal, safely cradled in 1985 style,” as he puts it) and three Nocturno nuggets on which the classic metal of yesteryear reverberates in epic form (or as Fenriz put it: “Ted’s are flown from the universe of metal”). As a matter of fact, good ‘ole Ted just happens to turn in one of his best performances on what is an album highlight, “Valkyrie.” A few times through the album and the chorus of that particular track sinks its claws in deep at which point you can banish from your mind any thoughts of dislodgement. Even Nocturno’s pronunciation/inflection is unforgettably endearing. The cut is also one on which the Manilla Road influence is unmistakable, although Darkthrone has churned out more than a few songs this century in which the sounds of that storied Wichita, KS can be heard to varying degrees.

With as much great riffing and quirky-cult coolness going on here, it is not like any one of these six tracks soars miles above any of the others. That said; if I had to pick another highlight, then album-closer “Leave No Cross Unturned” would have to be it. It is destined to be considered a Darkthrone anthem par excellence, right in line with some of the better material from the band’s 21st century output. That simple repetitive chorus is so catchy it’s ridiculous, yet in a way that is far more primal and quintessentially Darkthrone than “Valkyrie.”

While I can’t quite dub The Underground Resistance a product superior to Circle the Wagons yet, the former is moving in that direction. That’s no surprise since Darkthrone albums always end up growers, the mark of a long player with lasting appeal. More importantly, Darkthrone albums like The Underground Resistance are a joy to devour from the first track to the last and are always a great deal of fun, a point that too often gets lost in the analysis of a metal album’s worth. On The Underground Resistance the band demonstrates yet again that they are Darkthrone, and they play fuckin’ metal! Get some! 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
February 27th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    Haha, you left the band name space blank.


  2. Commented by: Noch

    I haven’t had the pleasure of giving this a spin yet but I absolutely adore this one twist on Darkthrone’s style and I’m quite sure your review summarizes how I’m gonna feel about the whole ordeal. Leave No Cross Unturned sounds fucking badass and catchy as hell. Black metal sure doesn’t have to fall into a straight line pattern (with no sorts of meshing with other genres) to be enjoyable and this band sure is proof of that statement.


  3. Commented by: Luke_22

    I’m no more than a casual black metal fan & I only have a couple of Darkthrone classics in my collection, but damn I’m digging this! Really epic feel & some great vocal work going on. Well summed up.


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