Darkthrone Announces Eternal Hails… For June 25

Legendary artists Darkthrone, who began in death metal before embarking on a black metal period that ended with Total Death, now begin to show signs of their punk-influenced era moving into something more like the epic rock and metal that inspired them back in the day.

The band released the following statement:

Things change, times change, people change, and yet even when sounding fresh and new and delivering just five tracks in 45 minutes on their 19th album, Eternal Hails, the Norwegian black metal legends remain defiantly and eternally Darkthrone.

Since forming in 1986 as Black Death in Kolboton, Norway, Darkthrone have been masters of their art. Dropping the death metal of 1991’s Soulside Journey debut album in favour of a more primitive, black metal sound on the following year’s A Blaze In The Northern Sky, they helped define black metal in the ‘90s through albums like 1993’s Under A Funeral Moon and its follow-up Transilvanian Hunger. Truly, though, Darkthrone remain unique, even in their own canon.

On Eternal Hails, the longer, doomier songs reflect drummer Fenriz’s love of doom, taking their time to make their point. For Fenriz, what he and co-conspirator Nocturno Culto have concocted stretches back even further than discovering black metal, to the sounds of the ‘70s and the more freewheeling sounds of bands playing with more expansive themes. This didn’t just make the songs longer, it made them an entirely different beast from the ground up.

“When I was a kid growing up with metal I kept looking for bands with long songs. Black Sabbath had many, and Celtic Frost’s ‘Dawn Of Meggido’ had a long song, so I put that on in the record store and discovered another dimension of metal. Candlemass’ ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ had only long songs, so I think I bought that without even listening, and it was one of my best buys ever – an eternal inspiration for my entire career..”

“For us it has become a bit logical, hard to explain, but you get to build up for a different kind of listening,” says Nocturno Culto. “A three-minute song is nothing we think of at the moment. We like it this way. For now.”

Even a change of studio hasn’t really changed anything in Darkthrone’s DNA. Having recorded all albums since 2004 using their own Necrohell II studio – a portable 8-track recorder housed in an old bomb shelter, itself a replacement for the original Necrohell 4-track used for Transilvanian Hunger and Panzerfaust, until it became “too necro” and broke – for Eternal Hails the band went to Chaka Khan Studio in Oslo for the first time.

Though the material was almost all finished ahead of the session, something the new studio and new way of working did allow for on Eternal Hails, was the opportunity to experiment with ideas on the hoof.

In a world changing too fast for anything to stick, Darkthrone are both able to stay fresh, but also reassuringly reliable. And no matter where they record, what they do or what gear the use to do it – Fenriz actually ended up using a drum kit belonging to Carmine Appice when he was in Rod Stewart’s band this time around – this, it seems, will never and can never change.

The album will hit asphalt on June 25 and can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats.

1. His Master’s Voice (7:17)
2. Hate Cloak (9:16)
3. Wake of the Awakened (8:24)
4. Voyage to a North Pole Adrift (9:24)
5. Lost Arcane City of Uppakra (7:02)

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28 thoughts on “Darkthrone Announces Eternal Hails… For June 25”

  1. Psychic Psych Toad says:

    Judging the album by it’s cover holds great promise! Can’t wait for June 25th!!!

  2. Gay R2D2 says:


  3. Genius says:

    At least one thing here seems inspired by Bathory: the six periods after the title, as on Bathory’s The Return……

  4. Admiral Tirpitz says:

    Surprised by the article. I would have suspected this would be treated as “ho-hum”. Fenriz is the Hillary Clinton of metal. A carpet bagger. Jumps from one genre to the next. First it’s “prog DM”, then due to Euro, primitive BM. Gets tired of that and becomes the champion of “crust punk”. Gets bored of that and wants to borrow Ratt riffs and play “Heavy Metal”. I am just waiting for him to claim he loved Mordred and play that.
    It’s not just him. Deep down, I think all the Norwegians really are in love with being contrarians for no reason and have no steadfastness to any philosophy or ideology for any given time.
    I can’t stand Fenriz. He has been elevated to “metal guru” because he spent most of the 90’s collecting obscure metal/thrash garbage from the 80’s that no one listened to and has used the internet to convince idiot kids what is “cool”. He had it right in the beginning of BM era Darkthrone by worshipping only 3 bands: as someone who was there, most of the 80’s-whatever genre-was insipid. In reality, there may have been only 100 releases from 83-89 that were any good. He peddles shit to kids who grovel on their FB page. He wants to be some form of Lemmy. He’s not.
    It’s admirable that Darkthrone never went 2000’s Skinny Puppy-clearly not trying to achieve overwhelming commercial success by completely abandoning metal. Ted’s making good cash as a teacher and Fenriz probably makes good cash now from working for the State for as long as he so they don’t need commercial success for cash reasons. I think Fenriz just likes to hear himself talk and just makes shit up as he goes along. Like saying back in the 2000’s that he was a big fan of GG Allin and that he was influence? Lol. Sure he was.
    I don’t care whether it’s KVLT (whatever that means-a term used by internet kids) or not, the band was far more interesting in the early 90’s.

    1. Gay R2D2 says:

      I attempted to make a similar comment, though it was much more succinct. Apparently it was not appropriate.

      1. Admiral Tirpitz says:

        you are posting on a site that most articles get less than 20 responses.
        Might be a good thing to have some wordiness now and again.
        Good to see I am not alone.

      2. Gay R2D2 says:

        Scratch that, the comment is up.

    2. Slayer Player says:

      That… sure was a lot of wild speculation.

      I’m sure glad Fenriz explored genres. A good death metal album, two masterpiece black metal albums, a really good ambient disc and some interesting side project stuff.

      100 good releases in six years is fantastic, not insipid. But maybe we define ‘good’ in different ways.

      And everyone wants to be Lemmy. Just ask Abbath.

      1. Admiral Tirpitz says:

        that’s the beauty of music. or any art. opinions
        You think Fenriz is a brilliant “explorer”. I see an opportunist hack with a smidge of ADHD who tries to reinvent himself every few years. Always pretends he was ALWAYS into something. Fraud.
        You see more quality than I do. Outside of 3 releases, it’s boring. Trying to incorporate Ratt “Round and Round” riffs into pseudo punk isn’t creative, its actually lazy.
        But that’s the charm of music.
        You say tomato….

        1. I think highly of Fenriz. I think he sniffs out good things in his own way.

          As far as re-inventing himself, yes, that’s how careers are maintained. Life as a musician who does not sell “big pop” is difficult.

          I think he’s introduced a new generation to stuff from the past that is not great as a way of filtering out the weak. Idiots fixate on the idiot bands, but the smarter people gravitate toward the good stuff he presents.

          1. Admiral Tirpitz says:

            usually I agree with most of your opinions.
            Not in this case.
            It’s not just him from that era, but many of the Norwegians wanted to re-invent themselves. Usually by pretending they were/are something they never were. Fabrications.
            Necro from Mayhem barely mentioned Dead in 90’s interviews, now he plays up that he was besties with Dead and thats the reason why he left Mayhem. Considering everyone stated that Dead really want close to anyone, it’s BS.
            He’s and old grandfather now and wants to be thought of as the “sensitive” metal dude now. “He cares”. lol
            Varg moved on from BM to Alien UFO Neo-Nazism, which has now evolved into D&D games and musings about tribal neanderthalism..or whatever half-baked shit he has going on-while living off his French wife’s families wealth
            Ihsahn found sweaters and is all “musician”- soft and cuddly now. Ughh
            Fenriz, by all accounts, is a drunk who has had way too much time on his hands.
            They don’t tour, so they put albums left and right to stay relevant and Fenriz does his best stereotypical metalhead routine.
            It’s so obvious that he loves that persona. I don’t think his shilling to loser kids on SM -especially since he shills the same crap on his podcast-is just an act.
            Basically, the BM Norwegians were/are all opportunists who jump from one genre (or story) to the next because none of them have ever really had an identity of their own.
            The only one I have really ever respected was NC. Doesn’t say much, so at least he avoids the appearance of being a moron. He should have ditched Fenriz a long time ago.

            1. Having had some experience with this… public figures project public personae. They do this as a means of communication. Often it takes awhile to get the details right.

              Some of these guys are near-poseurs, no doubt. Lots of people were suddenly Dead’s best friend after the big explosion of fame in the late 1990s.

              In general, however, in my experience most musicians loathe promotion and will do whatever they can to make it easy. Without promotion, no album sales means they go back to working at Target.

      2. Big meanie says:

        Abbath also wants to be Elvis and Gene Simmons. His mug is ugly enough to be both.

        1. I never thought of the guy as ugly. He’s a rough-looking Cro-Magnon like myself.

          1. Big meanie says:

            Thats a lowbrow comment.

            1. Quiet, we’re hunting mammoths.

    3. Seaman says:

      Don’t care about what Darkthrone’s been upto for a long time but I doubt Fenriz is out there to be the next Lemmy or whatever. He’s just kooky enough for hipsters to latch on to but it’s one of those coincidences where someone gets popular in spite of themselves. Chances are most at DMU wouldn’t mind a chat with him either.

      1. Admiral Tirpitz says:

        he got popular because Satyr wanted to sell more records for Moonfog and basically told Fenriz to do interviews.
        Satyr wanted Fenriz to sell.
        Then instead of mystery and danger you had some moron from Norway make Cartman jokes while referencing J.R. Ewing -as if that was funny in the late 90’s when the show had been long gone. Go read some of the interviews he did pushing Ravishing. It’s painful.
        He has even stated that Satyr told him to do interviews and be funny. Which he isn’t.
        Dude has never been original. Despite all the Norwegians trying to say they didn’t follow Euro-even Metalion had said everyone went BM because of Euro. Including Fenriz.
        He is a caricature now.
        He is basically just “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” now.
        Just my thoughts. Certainly have your own.

        1. Slayer Player says:

          Why does it matter that Fenriz got into black metal via Euronymous? And why does it matter what Fenriz does now? The classic albums speak for themselves.

          1. Also: Soulside Journey remains the only credible leader of the movement known briefly as “dark metal,” or the atmosphere of doom within the framework of death metal.

          2. Admiral Tirpitz says:

            why does it matter?
            because people have opinions.
            because life isn’t a vacuum of total group think.
            because this is a forum to type opinions (I think)
            take your pick.
            motives matter to me. Obviously they don’t to you

  5. maelstrrom says:

    Quite a vaginal cover art

  6. NL says:

    “…before embarking on a black metal period that ended with Total Death…” I’ve never listened to any Darkthrone past Panzerfaust, so I’m unsure whether you phrased the sentence that way intentionally, haha. Album titles like that are too easy to pick on! Another example is MASSACRA – Signs of the Decline.

    1. thewaters says:

      Total Death is….not that bad………

      1. I agree. It was the end of “real Darkthrone” in my eyes, but “real Darkthrone” is a varied beast, including Soulside Journey and Goatlord.

        1. Admrial Tirpitz says:

          I had a soft spot for Ravishing. People don’t like it. I do. Last best album
          People compare it to Hellhammer.
          I hear a lot of “Under the Sign…” and Trans Hunger-except mid paced. Still very drony. “Lifeless” comes to mind
          Riffs are repeated over and over …
          As much as it pisses me off to say, I heard that trailer of 5 seconds for “Eternal Hails”
          I am curious to hear what more is on there…

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