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Darkthrone: The Underground Resistance

One of my most anticipated albums for 2013 is the latest effort from Darkthrone, and it’s safe to assume I’m not the only one. The past few releases have found the band messing with their Black Metal formula, and for many fans, it’s been a hit or miss experience. But, if the recently released single off the impending The Underground Resistance is any sign of what’s to come, things are definitely about to get interesting once more.

Pitchfork.com premiered the song “Leave No Cross Unturned” today, and revealed one of the longest cuts for the band yet. Clocking in at over fourteen minutes, under seven if you watch it on Youtube, one can assume it more of an opus than anything. But, it does keep with the early Heavy Metal/first generation Black Metal sound that the band has been working with lately. There isn’t much Punk influence to the music this time around, though the attitude is definitely still there, especially when the music switches about half way to the more traditional second wave approach.

But the most intriguing element is the clean singing. There’s an early Doom Metal touch to them, similar to what one might expect from Candlemass. It’s an intriguing change of pace, as well as just sounds great, even giving a breath of fresh air to the genre. Of course the traditional rhaspier style is there, but it’s not quite as enthusiastic, nor does it seem serious sometimes when it’s done. Here and there you also hear some chanting, and it would be nice to have a little more of it from time to time. But, of all the vocal styles fused into this one track, nothing compares to the falsettos, especially the first one just packed with enough commanding enthusiasm that you can’t help but stop eveything and pay attention.

If “Leave No Cross Unturned” is any indication of what to expect from The Underground Resistance, then fans definitely won’t be let down if they have already accepted that the group has moved away from the traditional second generation Black Metal sound they eventually coined themselves on. I never got tired of listening to the performance, and the various shifs that occur kept me wondering what would come next. While this album has been one that would be a staple purchase for many devoted fans of the style, it’s pretty clear that it has a lot more going on than expected, and well worth watching closely as its release creeps closer.

Darkthrone (band)
Darkthrone

Digital material for this article based on an audio stream at Pitchfork.com.