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Darkthrone - Eternal Hails...... review



Reviewer:
7.3

128 users:
7.18
Band: Darkthrone
Album: Eternal Hails......
Release date: June 2021


01. His Master's Voice
02. Hate Cloak
03. Wake Of The Awakened
04. Voyage To A North Pole Adrift
05. Lost Arcane City Of Uppakra


Reviewing a new Darkthrone album can be a bit difficult, considering the duo has tried basically any extreme metal style under the funeral moon sun, yet they still can pull off a few surprises. This is Darkthrone at their most epic.

Their transformation from crust punk-drenched metal to more of a blackened heavy metal sound, that started with Circle The Wagons and became more and more obvious with subsequent releases, has been quite a treat for me. Leave proper musical necromancy to these old guys, who raise their old sounds from the grave in a most authentic way. Their latest release sees the duo doubling down on authenticity with a bluntly demo-like production. The muddy, thin yet raw sound pushes potent riffs to the front of the mix, making me feel like I'm listening to a forgotten Celtic Frost demo from the early '80s. It took me a while to appreciate this production, but it elevates the mysterious, occult atmosphere of the songs.

What mainly makes Eternal Hails...... stand out from Darkthrone's latest material is the epic factor having been cranked up to 11. Sure, already on The Underground Resistance and Old Star the band presented their longest songs to date, but Eternal Hails...... solely consists of compositions continuously changing pace and tone for at least 7 minutes. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto seem fully committed to taking their songs to higher planes and vaster landscapes. From the energizing, galloping heavy metal riffs in "His Master's Voice" and "Wake Of The Awakened" through the hard-hitting doomy sections in "Hate Cloak" to awe-inspiring leads reaching the cosmos in "Voyage To A North Pole Adrift", Eternal Hails...... ticks all the boxes of what fascinated people with metal in the '80s.

I must admit that the album, from time to time, feels like it's trying a bit too much: sometimes I do wish the production was better as the drums can disappear behind the thundering riffing, and tracks like "Hate Cloak" can be too long for their own good. While its opening riffs are catchy, the payoff takes too long what with the drawn-out, uneventful middle section. Some slow burners fortunately do achieve greatness, like the closer "Lost Arcane City Of Uppåkra". Darkthrone finishes the album with a curveball truly cementing the '80s sound, with really creepy John Carpenter-like synths that enhance the sorrowful tone of the final riffs. One can only hope that Darkthrone dives deeper into this particular sound, as I see great potential in it. Then again, Darkthrone do whatever the hell they want. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Lifetime of thoughts
Build layers of walls around you
Lesser and lesser
In common with the humans"


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7





Written on 23.07.2021 by An extremely lazy reviewer but he's so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 122 users
23.07.2021 - 14:23
The Entity

Pretty much agree with this review, really wish the production was abit different. But man, some really good tracks on this one! Wake of The Awakened is probably my favorite
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https://enigmaticalofficial.bandcamp.com/
Industrial / Cosmic Black Metal
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23.07.2021 - 19:29
BitterCOld
The Ancient One
Bought the album but still haven't given it a proper listen. Promising based upon the review. Nice work, Radu... err RodX
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get the fuck off my lawn.

Beer Bug Virus Spotify Playlist crafted by Nikarg and I. Feel free to tune in and add some pertinent metal tunes!
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23.07.2021 - 21:24
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
New nick name, to old to cold
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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24.07.2021 - 20:09
BetulaObscura

Nice review! I haven't listened it, yet but I will some day.
I am afraid that "thin" production will kill my ears, though...
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"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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26.07.2021 - 01:54
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by BitterCOld on 23.07.2021 at 19:29
Bought the album but still haven't given it a proper listen. Promising based upon the review. Nice work, Radu... err RodX

Most curious to read your opinion! I'm pretty sure you'll dig this one. .
And yeah, I finally changed the stupid nickname. I'm neither a doctor nor the mastermind behind the prog rock project Devil Doll. Better to go with truthful advertising.

Written by BetulaObscura on 24.07.2021 at 20:09
I am afraid that "thin" production will kill my ears, though...

I got used to it pretty easily myself. It is a good callback of the 80s sound within the extreme metal scene. It's not really sharp for the ears. It's just that the bass is quite low. Hope you like it! What did you think of the previous releases?
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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26.07.2021 - 08:35
nikarg
Mod
I have enjoyed the last couple of albums a lot. They have gone full-on blackened heavy / doom on this one, I hear so much Candlemass in the riffs. And early Celtic Frost, as you say. Both are great in my book. "Voyage To A North Pole Adrift" and "Wake Of The Awakened" are my favourite songs but I like the album as a whole, there are some sick riffs on here - not technical or anything, just very headbangable.

Quote:
Then again, Darkthrone do whatever the hell they want. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Exactly.
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26.07.2021 - 12:24
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by nikarg on 26.07.2021 at 08:35

I have enjoyed the last couple of albums a lot. They have gone full-on blackened heavy / doom on this one, I hear so much Candlemass in the riffs. And early Celtic Frost, as you say. Both are great in my book. "Voyage To A North Pole Adrift" and "Wake Of The Awakened" are my favourite songs but I like the album as a whole, there are some sick riffs on here - not technical or anything, just very headbangable.


Yeah, perhaps I should have mentioned Candlemass but I think Old Star was even doomier than this one. The epic-factor does have some Candlemass flavor to it but I'd also mention Viking-era Bathory as well. Perhaps people will misunderstand my grading but I really do like the album. I just felt the production was a double-edged sword and the 3 last songs are significally better than the first two imo. But yeah sick ass riffs. My favorite track is probably "Voyage To A North Pole Adrift" but man you should have seen my face the first time I heard the synths on the last track. Completely went "YES FUCK YES".
Now that I think of it... It gave me the same chills as the first time I heard the keyboards near the end of the Left Hand Path s/t track.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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08.08.2021 - 22:50
BetulaObscura

Written by X-Ray Rod on 26.07.2021 at 01:54

I got used to it pretty easily myself. It is a good callback of the 80s sound within the extreme metal scene. It's not really sharp for the ears. It's just that the bass is quite low. Hope you like it! What did you think of the previous releases?


Do you mean Old Star album? I was positively surprised by production quality.
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"The streets were dark with something more than night" - Raymond Chandler
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24.08.2021 - 05:15
tintinb

Voyage to a north pole adrift didn't do anything for me. But I really liked the doomy sections of Hate Cloak. And the ending of Lost Arcane city of Uppakra.

Shouldn't the originality scores be a bit higher. I mean sounded original to me. Not trying to start anything, swear.
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