The news of Old Star, the new album from the legendary act Darkthrone created a buzz in the TMW HQ. Instead of having one review of the album, we decide to compile one large review with the teams inputs. So without further ado, here is what our staff thought of Old Star.
Darkthrone a band that needs absolutely no introduction. For roughly 30 years Nocturno Culto and Fenriz have been churning out album after album that cater to fans of everything from Black Metal to just good old Heavy Metal. With their latest effort Old Star the duo remain steadfast in their quest to achieve Metal greatness! I am not going to be long with this one as we have brought the whole team together for a collective review but it in short this album rips. Old Star is a dark and somber collection of songs with plenty of riffs to keep your head banging. This is still Darkthrone but there is a doomier side to this album and fans of the 80s metal scene are sure keep this one on repeat. Without conforming to the mainstream Darkthrone have once again proved themselves masters of their craft.
“At the very beginning i need to mention that my expectations weren’t really hyped for this one. The first single, Hardships of the Scots felt really uninspiring a tune for a Darkthrone standards. It even steals a riff from Bruce Dickinson tune Darkside of Aquarius to maximize the effect of not really trying even. Fortunately the album in full turned out to be a positive surprise, as Hardships... was the only really insipid track on it. Maybe they used a reversed marketing of sorts by letting down the fans first and then releasing a great album to shock people? You never know. But yeah… Old Star is a gnarly, riff oriented metal record. It has that element of “heavy” one rarely meets in black metal. From the doominess of the title track to my absolute fave tune Alp Man this sounds like a marvellous record to blast while driving your car and headbanging like a loon.”
I am one of the different. Darkthrone’s greatest to me was, and always will be, Soulside Journey, why? Because it was Death Metal, and fucking solid shit at that. When they started looking North into the frosty winter and the Black Metal shite, well, It just doesn’t grab me like it did for some. Yes the holy trinity of Blaze, Under, and Transilvanian leave me still to this day a little empty. It may well have defined a genre for some, but afterwards they lost my interest, and life is like that, we get bored easily, we may hold onto a band just for the image, or the idea of them, or whatever. And yet Darkthrone would put an album out every now and then like Dark Thrones & Black Flags and turn my ideas upside down, but then you have to remember I am first and foremost a Death Metal kind of guy, with a large side serve of Doom to go along with it.
The one thing that has always fascinated me whether I like their later stuff or not is the fact that Fenriz and Nocturno seem to be able to change tack whenever they feel the urge. Yes, they are not at all withholden to the whims and trends of the masses, they do whatever the fuck they want, and more credit to them for doing so. The most interesting music to me comes from when a band listens to their collective inner self and just goes with it.
They have done exactly that with this one. What you get here is sheer class. Old School riffs of the highest order, a touch of Death, a tad of Doom, some Black influence, and a mix of everything that they find appealing. Is it up to us to judge? Well yes, and this is only my opinion, and we all know they are like arseholes, everyone has one don’t they?
This is Heavy Metal, and both of these characters have navigated it’s waters long enough to know what they are doing. Call it whatever you want, hate it if you will. Old Star is a journey worth taking at the very least.
Rating – 4/5
The Great Mackintosh.
Darkthrone have always been a band to forge their own path, and I have always appreciated their “Fuck You” Attitude. Old Star has crushing riffs, moments of gasp melody, and the general misanthropic atmosphere that sinks in more and more with each successive listen.
it’s a bubbling, driving, anger at humanity that has matured and aged with the band, and it propels the songs along here with practiced malice. Darkthrone give zero fucks about your opinion in general and your opinion of this record, and for that reason alone this has become my favourite release since Transylvanian Hunger.
Rating – 4/5
Going to make this short, sweet and to the point. Darkthrone return after the longest 3 years of life with an entire book. The necronomicon of riffs. Freniz and Nocturno really shine on this one bringing what feels like the spirit of the old school underground back to 2019. Raw production but not to raw and vocals that still cut through ice. Going to be on a TON of year end lists as it should and goddamnit I’m gonna stop writing so I can jam it again.
Let me start by saying that I am partial to Darkthrone’s music starting from The Cult is Alive. Many pioneering metal bands have fallen into the trap of giving into the current trends and altering their sound, I’m glad that Darkthrone have not done so. The band decided not to care about their reputation as black metal legends and make music that they wanted.
On Old star, their now signature black and roll sound is still intact. Alp Man was one of the stand out tracks for me. Another being Duke of Gloat. Both songs have crushing riffs. The band continue to remain uncompromising in their sound and the production is raw, which will appeal to their casual fans and hardcore ones alike. The album will definitely be part of my “Best of” list at the end of the year.
Overall: 4/5 Team Rating.
So there you have our thoughts, and if you haven’t already, check it out here!