Darkthrone – Hate Them Review

Originally written by Ryan Plunkett

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the truest of them all? Why it’s Darkthrone, of course. I mean these guys are so black metal that they have a song on the new album called “Ytterest I Livet” which, if my Norwegian skills serve me correctly, translates to “extreme in life.” And then there’s the song “Det Svartner Nå,” meaning “it’s blacker now.” Come on, you can’t get titles much more black metal than that.

These Norwegian extreme metalers have been keeping things evil since 1987, and now more than 15 years later, they release their 11th full length album, Hate Them. One thing Darkthrone has always been about is that music should not progress, and it should hold true with each album. The Lords of All that is Grim have continued to supply their menacing sound to the underground corpse paint-covered masses for the last decade and a half, not to mention spawning numerous copy cat bands around the world.

My guess is that most Darkthrone fans will buy this no matter what I say, simply because it is Darkthrone. None-the-less, we shall commence forth with the dissection for those of you unsure about this “kvlt” classic band.

As expected, Hate Them is filled with mid-paced thrash style black metal. The guitar riffs will jump occasionally to some slower, almost break-down style riffs, and then occasional shredding riffs to change things up a bit. The bass pretty much doesn’t exist, which is fine, because then the album wouldn’t be quite as true. The drums speed along with blast beats galore and some galloping beats as well. Nocturno’s vokills are as gravely and evil as ever, encompassing the listener fully in black.

If you’re coming into this release with expectations of good production, just put a bullet between your eyes now, because you obviously know nothing about being “true”. The production on Hate Them just screams grimness with fuzzy, grainy guitars and a bass drum that is begging to be heard through the wall of noise. Obviously the production isn’t quite as crappy as some of Darkthrone’s previous releases, but it is rough around the edges all the same.

If you love grim black metal I have no doubt this is already on your wish list. This outing is better than their last album, Plaguewielder, but it’s no Transylvanian Hunger. If you’re a casual Darkthrone fan, I recommend looking into it, because it is a decent listen. For those of you looking for a new black metal release that doesn’t sound like it’s straight out of 1993, you are best advised to look elsewhere.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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