Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath

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Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath
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Darkthrone: Sardonic Wrath
Black Metal
Moonfog Productions
September 16th, 2004
Release length: 34:22
Myspace
PureVolume
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Sardonic Wrath, the latest offering by black metal legends Darkthrone is one of those releases that makes one question the judgement of people. So many people hated the band’s prior release, Plaguewielder, and yet claim this is one of the band’s better recent albums. Yes, it is a better album then some of their latest offerings, and definitely something to get excited over.

But don’t start a party in your pants just yet for this release! While Sardonic Wrath is a pretty kick ass album with some great riffs, there are still some issues with it that derive from the recent plague the band is suffering from. “Information Wants To Be Syndicated” sounds a lot like a song that would have made a great addition to Plaguewielder but was scrapped at the last second. It seems as though the music on the album is once again stuck around the mid-tempo spot. Occassionally the songs will jump up in speed, like with “Sjakk Matt Jesu Krist”, but then you have “Straightening Sharks In Heaven”, which concludes with extremely slow paced music that really didn’t need to be there.

But, with all the negative aspects aside, this is still a great release. It seems the songs with names that are not in English happen to be the best, having a much heavier feel to them then some of the others on here. The album’s production quality is better then some of the recent releases, and it really seems to be focused on the distortion on the guitars then anything else. The echo on the vocals happens to be here too, but sounds good. The only thing that seems off is that the album is lacking really good hooks. Granted some of the songs are catchy as hell, such as “Sacrificing To The God Of Doubt” and the killer guitar riffs that flow through it, but some of them, like “Information Wants To Be Syndicated” and “Straightening Sharks In Heaven” just seem to be missing that key piece of musicianship the band is known for, and “Hate Is The Law” being rather boring during the main versus, but catchy as hell during the quick chorus.

The bottom line is that this is definitely a great album, but the band could have really done more with the music on this release. It has the possibilities to become one hell of a black metal release in the vain of their early days, but instead we have a release that falls just short of being one hell of a release. Some bland moments and reminders of tragic music from the past, Sardonic Wrath is definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully the band will continue along this path.


01. Order Of The Ominous – 2:32
02. Information Wants To Be Syndicated – 3:44
03. Sjakk Matt Jesu Krist – 4:04
04. Straightening Sharks In Heaven – 3:27
05. Alle Gegen Alle – 3:21
06. Man Tenker Sitt – 3:05
07. Sacrificing To The God Of Doubt – 4:34
08. Hate Is The Law – 3:22
09. Rawness Obsolete – 6:14
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Darkthrone (band)
Darkthrone (logo)

Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.