Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons (Peaceville/Stomp)

Norwegian black metal pioneers are back! Or should I say Black/Punk pioneers? Maybe Blue Collar Metal pioneers? The fact is that Darkthrone are once again delivering the finest metal that only a band with more than 20 years of existence could offer!

Circle the Wagons is topping the string of releases which people out there are calling black punk. Actually the style is a Venom-Motorhead-punk oriented sound with no definition yet, because, even sticking with the 1980s heavy/speed metal, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have invented something completely new.

If you are accompanying Darkthrone since The Cult Is Alive you know what I'm talking about. The band is reversing in time, but not to their primitive Black Metal of the early days. They are going back to something more in the past: the source of all evil, a time when analog sound was the only way to record an album, with no Pro Tools and the super well-produced makeup of the current days.

You can perceive that right on the first track Those Treasures will never Befall You. A piece of hardcore-oriented beat inviting the headbanger to the mosh pit with a simple (and killer) riff. Heads up: simple doesn't mean poor music in this case. It's all about attitude and exciting sound (just remember why you like Motorhead and Ramones, and you'll discover that has nothing to do with musical masturbation). The song even has a piece of melody in the chorus transforming it into the new singalong hit for the true metalheads.

The same feeling of simple-riff-and-beating-with-killer-choruses are heard along the CD like I'm the Grave of the Eighties, I Am the Working Class, and mainly in the title-track Circle The Wagons. These songs are the determining factors which make you think: Man, I'll totally listen to this album over and over again!

Actually, Darkthrone are sending a clear message to us: the war against modern metal is going on, and poseurs can't do anything to prevent it. How can I be so sure? Because they state it in the verses like "I am the grave of the eigthies, I am the risen dead, destroy their modern metal and BANG YOUR F*CKING HEAD". This is not a request, this is an order!

Maybe the other tracks like Stylized Corpse, Eyes Burst At Dawn and the weirdest song Bränn Inte Slottet don't reproduce the same catchy atmosphere of the aforementioned songs, but their riffs are killer, bearing the same brand that made Darkthrone so popular amongst headbangers everywhere. Be it Black Metal or not.

The cover art has been drawn by Dennis Dread (the same guy who had worked on F.O.A.D., and Darkthrones and Black Flags), and brings the crude colourless draft that fits so perfectly to the Darkthrone's old school music.

Circle the Wagons is an ode to the forgotten golden age of DIY music and a way to remember the new generations that real metal was forged in the deepest underground by tape-trading maniacs, and not by the lazy generations of the "overground", the epithet Fenriz uses to describe the mainstream scene.

If you're an orphan of the old-fashioned speed metal attack, it's time to celebrate! Join your friends of the working class and bang your f*cking head!

Circle the Wagons is out now on Peaceville/Stomp.