death metal underground
The Ultimate Death Metal Resource
Death Metal Search Engine
Darkthrone - Panzerfaust
Review: Further devolving toward basic pieces of song structure wrought from tonal streams played as melody, Darkthrone add to a full repertoire of black metal styles the Celtic Frost-inspired trudging drone first appearing on their second album. Hiding their instrumentals in a wash of delayed, distorted, and texturally abraded sound Darkthrone overlay melodies in consequential deconstruction, letting the dominoes fall into beautiful sequences of simple, almost predictable, but in contrast epic and beautiful elements.
Under the echoing voice of Fenris drums pace at either running horses or the staggered emphatic tempos of complex marches or dancing. An invocation of Pan in the cloven feet of the toms pounding under snare hits and constant, electromechanical highhat stitching through the background, percussive progressions break down here from running tempos to distended and excessive grinding doom.
In celebration of the nature of Hellhammer behind much of black metal, Darkthrone have resurrected some of the more random rhythmic changes in that style and put them into a more wordly, decadent, and morose style of music. Grinding and stalling sounds throughout the progression of songwriting, and often the trudging battle-beat of early black metal rears its head in a new incarnation.
Guitars work through simple riffs and seemingly demoralized, random lead guitar; their focus leads the song through permutations of its basic idea and justifies the continued platform of the longer percussive phrases which instead of containing each guitar phrase, vary at the evolution of tempo at the instigation of guitar and vocal interaction. Memorable rhythms define the overall tendencies of each song and therefore the meta-meme of both song and album, coming together to create an atmosphere of labored devolution.
For Darkthrone, another marker in the progression of musical decadence, this album takes the morbid rhythmic and structural integration first appearing on Under a Funeral Moon and adds to it the melody of Transilvanian Hunger, toning down both aspects in favor of emphatic rhythm in stalling progressions of recursive strums, an atmospheric invention by repetitive creation of elemental harmonic space. Like all work from this band to date, worth getting for its developmental revelations of black metal, but not for those who fear a droning, corrosive, dispassionate aesthetic.