DARKTHRONE – The Cult is Alive

Cult black metal act, DARKTHRONE, picked up their game after a lackluster few albums in the late ’90s/early 2000s with 2004’s Sardonic Wrath. Their latest offering, perhaps a claim to their continued significance, The Cult is Alive, is a loose but exciting album that sees the Norwegian duo kick it up a notch. Instead of the mid-paced plodding DARKTHRONE threw at us with Ravashing Grimness and Plagueweilder, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz have sharpened their fangs and wits with some bouncier necro-riffs. Additionally, The Cult is Alive exposes a newfound looseness not quite inherent in their old school black metal values. “Too Old, Too Cold” rocks out with a garage-punkish vibe that even seeps into the lyrics: “Nothing to prove/Just a hellish rock’n roll freak/You call your metal black/It’s just spastic lame and weak.” Similarly, “Graveyard Slut” is a dirty rocker that sounds fueled by booze rather than pentagram worship. But this is DRAKTHRONE. With teeth-gnashing and fists-clenched, grinding tracks like “De Underjordiske” and “Tyster Pâ Gud” fully replicate the true DARKTHRONE experience. It’s good to hear a band performing such a limited style of music on their (gasp) twelfth album are able to keep from waning. The cult is indeed alive. (Peaceville Records)

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