Originally published in ‘zine issue #31, 2005
Darkthrone Sardonic Wrath
Sardonic Wrath is exactly what you would expect from a two-man (fiend?) black metal band on their 11th full-length record. That’s right, 11 records to date plus a tribute album and numerous bootlegs. Not surprisingly, the now trademark under-production and no-frills songwriting on this disc is similar to that of such classics as Transylvanian Hunger and Under A Funeral Moon. Which leads us to the obvious question: Why not just listen to those records instead of a lesser facsimile produced a decade later? Don’t ask me, but I will say that this record is worthy of purchase if only for the dreamy photo of skin pounder/vocal dictator Fenriz. Apparently, this self-proclaimed Dirty Old Uncle is the spitting image of Telly Savalas and will be appearing in numerous fashion magazines in the upcoming year. Personally, I’m a fan of Darkthrone’s early aforementioned opuses but haven’t been impressed by the last four or five efforts. This being said, Sardonic Wrath is still light years ahead of the drivel excreted by numerous slavish Darkthrone imitators. I also admire Darkthrone’s uncompromising tenacity. To summarize, don’t waste your time buying every existing copy of ‘true Northern’ Lithuanian, Hungarian, Moroccan, Hawaiian, and Ugandan black metal in all of its various incarnations. Instead, pick up any Darkthrone CD on Peaceville (besides Soulside Journey) and play it with any infernal stereo of your choice. For a unique listening experience, press “shuffle” and Voila! Instant black metal record collection!
(by Mark Sloan) ■