Infernal Stronghold
Godless Noise

Godless Noise might be one of the most appropriate album titles in the history of underground metal; I‘m surprised some enterprising young hesher hasn’t used it before. What young metalhead blasting their older brother’s copy of Haunting The Chapel didn’t have their parents yell “turn off that godless noise” at the upstairs bedroom? I’m sure metal has been described as godless noise by just about every stressed-out PMRC parent.

Does this 25-minute album by Pennsylvania’s Infernal Stronghold live up to the moniker? By and large, it does. This is a raw, crusty critter that sounds like it was cranked out in the garage during a weekend of booze, drugs and repeated playbacks of mid-90s Darkthrone. The band looks like a bunch of guys who are holding down the night shift at the local Exxon so thankfully we aren’t dealing with Casio keyboard-clutching clowns and inept music.

You can’t tell many of the songs on Godless Noise apart – they are short bursts of blackened agitprop – so the effect is like a live performance. Although some of the songs are redundant tracks like “Crashing Trucks Into Churches,” create an almost blackened punk aesthetic. They haven’t mastered this raw art form like obvious influences Fenriz and Nocturno Culto – and they play much faster than the Norwegians have of late – but the complete lack of finesse and delicacy is enticing. The packaging and artwork is also unlike anything I’ve seen of late, the cover hinting at primal cosmic chaos.

There aren’t many memorable riffs here, and repetition is a problem. But somehow the band has created an album that rises above curiosity to occasionally be compelling. Godless Noise, indeed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Justin M Norton
September 1st, 2009


  1. Commented by: timshel

    Hey, nice review. “Casio keyboard-clutching clowns” is one hell of a tongue-twister.

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    this is a very cool little album- i reviewed it for nasty little bitch it is

  3. Commented by: Dimaension X

    Personally, I’d rather listen to this than any of the last three Darkthrone albums. At least THIS band is trying to be Darkthrone, whereas Darkthrone aren’t trying to be Darkthrone anymore, they’re trying to be Motorhead or Sodom.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Darkthrone actually put this much punkish energy into their albums again?

  4. Commented by: Grimulfr

    nothing wrong with trying to be Motorhead or Sodom

  5. Commented by: Dimaension X

    Well, when you’re already Darkthrone, why not just be Darkthrone? Motorhead don’t try to be anything but Motorhead, and they’ve done it consistently and successfully for more than 30 years. Some bands can revise their sound and do different things well (Dan Swano is good at many styles of music, Immortal got much better with their later albums), others try and fail miserably (In Flames, Metallica, Cryptopsy).

    I dunno. I guess I’m just saying I think this album is a good example of Darkthrone-ish punky energy.

  6. Commented by: Grimulfr

    I agree with you on both counts, this is a nice Darkthronish album and it would be nice to have Darkthrone go back to being Darkthrone

  7. Commented by: rr

    i’m glad an album of mine compelled someone to call out darkthrone on their lack of punk energy of late. fuck yes indeed.

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