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Darkthrone - The Cult Is Alive

Discussion in 'Your Reviews' started by The Bringer, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    This isn't going to be much of a review. I just wanted to start a thread for discussion about this album/band.

    When I first received this album I listened to a few songs that I thought had interesting names. Then I just tossed it aside and went along with my daily business. Now I'm listening to it again... and I have mixed feelings.

    Before listening to this I took the time to listen to Transilvanian Hunger again before hand. I don't know if it was a good or bad idea. I love that album and I could probably listen to it once every day for the rest of my life. It is just great. The Cult Is Alive... well, it isn't quite as good. It definitely sounds like Darkthrone that is for sure but the grim riffs have been toned down in grimness and the drumming just isn't want it use to be. If it isn't broken don't fix it.

    The drumming gives it a slow paced black n' roll feel to it. Its nice to tap your foot to but nothing to scream about to the frostbitten mountainscapes of Norway.

    And the lyrics... Hah. I don't know. The song Shut Up has to have the worst lyrics ever. Very cheesy.

    What does everyone else think of the band?
     
  2. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    You're listening to the album for the wrong reasons. This isn't grim, cold Nordic Black Metal and is totally unrelated to T ransilvanian Hunger. In case you haven't noticed, Transilvanian Hunger is the outlier in their discography.
     
  3. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    Well in all honestly, if that is the case then I am glad I made this thread! Because I've only listened to three albums from their entire discography. Can you give me more information about the general idea of the band?
     
  4. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    Well, they started out playing Death Metal (Soulside Journey and a later album, Goatlord), then they moved on to Black Metal clearly inspired by punkish/crust stuff and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Bathory, etc. for A Blaze In The Northern Sky and Under A Funeral Moon. Transilvanian Hunger I suppose I don't need to explain. It's a very dissonant affair. Panzerfaust may have the most similarities to Transilvanian Hunger. About half of the songs are kind of like a more controlled Transilvanian Hunger while the other half are more obviously inspired by Celtic Frost than ever. Total Death, Ravishing Grimness, and Plaguewielder I'm honestly not too familiar with, but I do know that they're nothing like Transilvanian Hunger. Hate Them has an oddly very clean production for a Darkthrone album, and sees them gradually adding more explicitly punkish elements into their music. Sardonic Wrath is more raw than Hate Them and continues to add punish elements. The Cult Is Alive is the natural process of this further infusion and emphasis of the punk element into their music. It's always been prevalent except on the Death Metal material and Transilvanian Hunger, but here it is stated outright.
     
  5. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    Excellent. Now that I have an idea of the progression I can understand why this album would sound so drasticly different. Perhaps I should look more into this band.

    I must say, I really like the vocals. Even on the newest album, when it is very clear what he is saying, it sounds great. The echos are nice. I really like that. Sometimes it sounds cheesy, but that would be when the bands would only use it at certain parts in songs. But this is great.
     
  6. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    My personal favorites would be Soulside Journey, Under A Funeral Moon, Transilvanian Hunger, Panzerfaust, and Sardonic Wrath. I've been meaning to look into the ones I'm not familiar with though, and this thread reminded me of that, so thanks.
     
  7. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    Haha well your welcome! I hope you do because I definitely will look into them. Even if my view is very one sided about this album I am very glad I made this thread.
     
  8. Hatebreeder

    Hatebreeder Pizzicato Heartstrings

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    I still think "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" is their greatest accomplishment.
     
  9. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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  10. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    Where some Black Metal may(or may not) benefit from the so-called "Grim" production value common to the genre, I honestly believe it is a criminally 'overrated' aural phenomenon, for lack of a better word. Thus, for me Darkthrone has always been a challenge. The riffs were once groundbreaking, the atmosphere arguably unrivaled...but that production. Oh that woefully thin, if sometimes even unlistenable production! Even to the day, this persists. I just don't understand.
    It is a shame, as there are so many ideas there, so much venom, so much raw energy - but for me most of it is lost, by the transistor-radio production. I've listened to Black Metal from the time Venom and Bathory were altogether new entities and as underground as metal could have been. And at their most raw, either band was always more powerful and listenable than I ever found Darkthrone. Is it just me? How does one get beyond that miserable sound quality? I've always felt "left-out" somehow, as few other BM bands are so venerated as the mighty Darkthrone...but that aweful production?!?!
     
  11. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    Try Hate Them, that has the "cleanest" production" out of all of the albums I believe.
     
  12. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    I've not heard that honestly, so I will check it out. I still like some of the classic stuff "A Blaze..." particularly, but this powerless-production thing has always been an issue for me.
     
  13. skeptik

    skeptik Member

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    If you like "Ablaze" and haven't heard "Under A Funeral Moon," that's also highly recommended. Transilvanian Hunger has by far the worst production out of any Darkthrone album, if that's what you're basing it on.
     
  14. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    I'm pretty familiar with all the early stuff. It just seems to me the production and guitar & Drum sound on "A Blaze..." are somewhat superior to both "Under..." and yes, definitely "TH." The fact that "T-Hunger" is far and away the favorite of most just confounds me all the more. Again, maybe it's just me and my ears - but 3/4's of the appeal of Metal to me(whatever sub-genre) is the unequaled power and authority with which the music speaks. With a production that thin (drums barely audible-wafer thin to non-existent bottom end! ) it just destroys the whole effect. Again, I love Black Metal going back to 1984 or so...but the supposed kVlt appeal of this "grim" sound business is evidently lost on me(this is true for nearly all of the 'old' metalheads I still discuss extreme music with, ironically). Thanks for the ideas though!
     
  15. Thoth-Amon

    Thoth-Amon Hypochondriac

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    I love the production on TH... frankly I don't think the music could work without it. I think when you listen to TH you need to approach it with a different mindset than you would most metal albums. This album is about ATMOSPHERE. Without the simple repetitive riffs and song structures and the hazy production you really can't get the atmosphere the band is trying to induce in the listener. So... in other words if you took a more standard type of production it just wouldn't work. Maybe you don't like that kind of music and that's cool. But that is why it is the way it is. Listen to it again with that in mind if you haven't done so already... you may be surprised. :)
     
  16. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    That's exactly how I feel when I listen to that album. I have it on my iPod and it goes with me everyday on my commute to class... but I can't listen to it. It just isn't an album that I can listen to during the day. The atmosphere isn't right, the mood isn't set. When I get home and its dark and I'm having a few beers feeling a little low, I put this on and the atmosphere is fucking wonderful. If you actually listen to the music you will hear that each song has possibly 3 or 4 riffs that just continue on and on. But it really isn't noticed. The riffs are very mesmorizing and the atmosphere of the production draws your attention away from the repeativeness.
     
  17. OldScratch

    OldScratch Member

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    I've tried it again and again over the years(I'll try again though). Still, evidently the repetitive brilliance and atmosphere is largely lost on me, as I cannot get past the overall sound. Wierd though, growing up on Venom, Bathory, Sodom,etc.(among many others), and loving many second-wave BM bands, I thought I had a pretty good tolerance for Raw but effective recordings - I don't necessarily need crystal clear. I guess the ultra "grim" thing is just lost on me. Different tastes I suppose...
     
  18. Evil?

    Evil? omghaxlol!1

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    TH was difficult for me to listen to the first few times. I had a hard time staying interested through the entire album as it was so harsh on the ears it became grating. After a few listens I "got" it. I love the album now. You really do need to approach albums like this differently.
     
  19. Sarkastus

    Sarkastus use a chicken to..

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    It's the band that sounds like Satan sitting and farting. At times holding tempo but then releasing, like the man is relaxing his muscels and then tightening up again. Sometimes Gylve seems to stumble on the warriordrum quite unexpectedly and at times he seems to have forgotten he already repeated the drill, over propriety. Having captured that unhallowed sound of the Deep Forests, they think they're so damn evil and inviolable. Don't get me wrong, I am not disliking them. If not genius they're hilarious at least. They always remind me of grumpy old home-brewers who have discovered that an intruder has visited their secret fermatory in the woods.
     
  20. Blue_Jay

    Blue_Jay New Metal Member

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    This has got to be one of metal's most underrated album. Really awesome stuff, love the rock and roll sound Darkthrone has here.
     

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