Darkthrone – Eternal Hails…..

Darkthrone
Eternal Hails…..
Released 25th June 2021
Doom Metal/ Blackened Heavy Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......

The Norwegian duo Gylve Fenris Nagell and Ted Arvid Skjellum, better known as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, have been making heavy metal music as Darkthrone since 1987. I’m using the term heavy metal music deliberately as their style has changed a lot over the years. Though their first album was death metal, they are best known for the black metal albums released in the early 90s, some of which are regarded as the genre’s classics including ‘Under A Funeral Moon’. Since then they have experimented with a variety of genres including crust punk, thrash metal, hard rock and Motörhead-style heavy metal.

Personally I’m particularly fond of their black metal era. They are a band which I have continued to follow for many years. I can’t say that I enjoy all their works though, some of the more experimental albums are not to my liking. When it comes to Darkthrone, some things always remain the same. They have never followed any specific trends, they just play what they want and they never do live shows. So where do they stand in 2021 with ‘Eternal Hails…..”, let’s find out shall we?

The first two things that got my attention were the beautiful cover art and the song lengths. It is worth noting that there are only five tracks on here and the shortest one clocks in at just over seven minutes. The opener His Masters Voice has a varied structure starting off slow and atmospheric before the thrash metal style guitar riffs hit the spotlight later on. Then they mellow things down again at the end. It’s a decent start but nothing super memorable. Hate Cloak offers some old school Candlemass-esque doom metal with a bleak atmosphere and droning guitars. This might be great for those who love this style but I’ve never been a massive fan of the genre. While it may have the right atmosphere, over nine minutes of droning guitar riffs is a little too tedious for my liking.

Even when the pace picks up half way through the album, the only track that I actually enjoyed was Wake Of The Awakened. Not only does it feature slightly faster thrashing guitar work and less ponderous riffs but it is also the closest thing on here to their old black metal sound. Like most of the album, this one is very guitar-driven but it is more energetic than the others.

In summary, if you are a fan of doom metal then you will most likely enjoy ‘Eternal Hails…..’ In my case, I enjoyed ‘Wake of The Awakened’ and I like some of the thrash metal guitar parts in a few of the other tracks but on the whole the album is too cumbersome for me. I found the song structures difficult to grasp and it took some serious effort to stay focused.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: