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Darkthrone - "Plaguewielder"
Moonfog Productions 2001

This album was one of rare late releases for which I took my time to really listen to it, instead of just scanning through songs to get the general feeling and washing the dishes at the same time (not that I actually do dishes, mind you, but you probably get my point). After that I hesitated to write this review. During continuous reminders of the chief editor and almost countless time of rolling the CD I tried to decide what to write. The fact is that I don't want to even try to write an objective review. Simply because I just love this album! Especially "Raining Murder" and "Wreak", two songs that went right on the list of mine Darkthrone's fave. I mean, yeah I could try to give some reasons why Plaguewielder probably won't be regarded as a cult album amongst the large numbers of metal heads over the globe, but hey - that doesn't make any difference and there is no sense in writing things I don't believe in.

Starting with a great intro, darkness spreading around associated me with the beginning of "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" with a thoughtful statement at the end of it: "It's not by death but by life that death kills life". Grotesque. There are 6 songs on this album, with a typical feature of combining fast and slow parts and with a distinctive strange feeling through the whole album. How should I put this? If you believe in a bony person running around with a scythe in his hands, you can probably imagine he doesn't knock himself out of joy every time he puts some fellow out of his misery. No excitement about it, no feelings and no one gets a special treat. Either you fear it or glorify it, death is just a fact. So from there I could draw some similarities to "Plaguewielder". Repeating riffs, with a surprising lack of catchy melodies which you could point out, can make an album very hard to listen to. The reason why many reproach it as monotonous. Which I find possible but not understandable. And what actually amuses me. Especially because I can picture forthcoming debates on the mentioned topic and totally senseless dividing to the "old" and the "new" Darkthrone. Back to the album: vocals - most of the other vocalists from the metal scene can hide themselves compared to these vocals. Amazing as always, they fit perfectly into the music, thanks to the Nocturno Culto's sense of interpretation of the lyrics (considering the number of bands out there, which obviously never thought of it, it's even more admirable). Oh, and while we are talking about lyrics - they are actually worth reading (which is mostly the case with other Darkthrone's lyrics as well but for the most of the black metal scene - their perseverance on all the clichés is headachy and tiresome).

P.S. A plus bonus goes for the very pleasing cover and a thoughtful design. The fact that booklet is in full colour will probably appear to be another thrown bone to pick.

Type: A darken figure pulling the cart down the street and stopping at the houses with red marks.

Author:   Maja

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