Darkthrone – Old Star (2019)

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The mighty Darkthrone, made up of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, return with this new collection of six songs – their first since 2016’s Arctic Thunder, and it’s a welcome return to say the least.

Fenriz on Old Star –“All in all it is our most 80s album so far and our most metal one to date with drum sound typical for the 80s USA/German market and damned lyrics, which are all written by me. We feel that OLD STAR is the big brother of ARCTIC THUNDER. More solid and with even better riffs.”

A fair assessment indeed.  I Muffle Your Inner Choir starts things off with ominous black metal stylings, and of course a heavy focus on the riff.  The pace slows in the mid section, giving way to a doom inspired passage, before building its way back to the eventual climax.

The Hardship of the Scots clocks in at a mammoth seven and a half minutes, and with Judas Priest inspired riffs featured throughout, its not only the focal point of this record, but an absolute highlight.  The galloping mid section will get heads banging, while the extended guitar solo is eclxxellent.

The title track is a slab of blackened doom, while Alp Mans riffs will please headbangers of all styles.  Duke of Gloat is fast paced, with a punk rock edge everywhere except the vocals.  It’s vicious in its unrelenting delivery – even when the pace slows a touch, it never loses its ferocity for its full seven minute duration.

The Key is Inside the Wall is the final track of this six song collection, and it goes to great lengths to include all of the elements that came before it.  Being another over seven minute piece, it has plenty of room to use those elements, and does so without seeming forced.

This release will satisfy Darkthrone fans old and new.

7/10

Review by Shayne McGowan

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