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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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4-5 PASS




‘Arctic Thunder’


A new Darkthrone album is always cause for celebration, but the announcement of ‘Arctic Thunder’ seemed to generate even more hype than usual. With the simple yet evocative cover art and Fenriz’s admission that ‘Arctic Thunder’ would be exploring “a more solemn/ introvert atmosphere,” many were expecting a full-on return to the duo’s ice cold black metal past, so let’s just get this out of the way right now – it’s not (well, not quite), but it does represent another shift of gears for the Norwegian odd couple, dispensing with the jubilant, hard rockin’ vibe and knowing, self-referential tone that had reached its logical conclusion on 2013’s ‘The Underground Resistance’.

This is immediately apparent from opener ‘Tundra Leech’, which wields giant, Tom G-esque riffs with a certain malevolence that has been absent from their last few albums, before ‘Burial Bliss’ finds the perfect middle ground between the pair’s crusty battery of recent years and the far eerier, blackened riffing style that informed their earlier records. It’s a song that could have quite easily fit onto ‘Ravishing Grimness’, and whilst perhaps not exactly what you’d call ‘pure’ black metal (Fenriz’s boisterous Motörhead style drumbeat sees to that), it’s safe to say anyone who fell in love with their early works will feel a similar chill run down their spine upon hearing this.

‘Boreal Fiends’ surprises again with a slow doomy riff, awkward yet infectious swagger, copious amounts of cowbell and the only Fenriz vocal on the entire record – we don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say your brain will be screaming it every time you read the song’s title after hearing it. It’s similar to his “Nocturno Cultooooo!” outburst from ‘In The Shadow Of The Horns’ back in 1992, and reminds us that, as much as they’re often seen as poster boys for the grimmest and most unholy styles of black metal, the gleeful, celebratory atmosphere of recent records has always been bubbling away under the surface. ‘Arctic Thunder’ certainly succeeds in conjuring their bleakest, more introspective listening experience in years, but again, that wild, untameable spirit still hasn’t completely disappeared – whilst ‘Deep Lake Trespass’ could probably pass as a ‘Transylvanian Hunger’ out-take if you tremolo picked it and played a blastbeat over the top (or, as Fenriz has referred to it, the “sprinkler beat”), the playful, chugging riffs of the title track, for example, recall Mercyful Fate or even vintage Metallica, and ‘Throw Me Through The Marshes’ mixes ominous Sabbathian riffery with what sounds like a much darker version of early Onslaught.

All things considered, though ‘Arctic Thunder’ may explore somewhat different territory to recent records, it’s hardly a massive departure for the duo. That works in its favour, however, as ‘Arctic Thunder’ feels both fresh and familiar, reaffirming everything we love about Darkthrone’s various different eras whilst also establishing an entirely new one. After 30 years of existence, Darkthrone are still steadfastly walking their own path, still putting out great records and still refusing to give one flying fuck if you don’t like it. Why can’t more bands be this good?



‘Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World’


For those of you who crave guitar-based psychedelic rock that’s truly heavy, immersive and generally fucked, with zero chance of ever flipping its script and resorting to 6 Music heavy rotation fodder (think Mercury Rev or the Verve), the UK is currently drooling out more killer examples of it than at any time since the early ’90s. Back then, bands like Skullflower and Terminal Cheesecake were go-to names for underground mind rearrangement; the latter group reformed a few years ago, and are part of a gnarly nationwide family tree which also includes 11Paranoias.

This trio feature Adam Richardson, also of Ramesses; his scene in the early ’90s was demo-tape death/doom, parting Jus Osborn in Lord Of Putrefaction. All told, and with the added talents of Mike Vest (Bong, Drunk In Hell and an endless churn of others) and Capricorns’ Nathan Perrier, it makes a murky sense that 11Paranoias’ third album lurks and lurches in the middle ground between Electric Wizard-style forest doom and bad-trip psych noise. Powerchords are used wisely and often, but liable to collapse sweetly into wah pedal black holes, as with the chaotic ‘Meditation On The Void’; Vest, consistently one of the most inventive guitarists around right now, is given free rein for flights of space-sludge fancy. The album’s second track, ‘Destroying Eyes’, lasts fifteen minutes and this feels as natural as ‘Milk Of Amnesia’, which closes ‘Reliquary…’, stoving yer head in with Part Chimp-worthy noise rock blare. An hour of thunderous abandon and the best 11Paranoias release to date.




“‘Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World’ was recorded spontaneously in two days… the artwork for the album took nearly two years to complete! The beautiful artworks were kindly supplied to us by American occult book binding overlords Ouroboros Press. It is a celebratory hark back to the old-school LP viewing and listening experience, as well as a homage to TV generation psychedelia. pb/>The artwork is based upon the RGB principle on which TV works and is decoded by using the ‘Mutidimensional Paranoid Vision Key’™

. The red, green and blue keys reveal three hidden and obscured layers of artwork for the listeners Mutidimensional Paranoid Viewing pleasure. Look out for your free Mutidimensional Paranoid Vision Key™ included in every CD & LP. Read the MPV™ operational instructions before use! 11Paranoias will not be held responsible for any mind loss.”




There are moments where ‘Five’ really works; the massively uplifting chorus on ‘The Game’ is a delight and

‘The Chain’ packs an almighty punch through some slick lead guitar play. However, these moments are few and far between and despite ‘Five’ being The Agonist’s fifth record (who figured?), the overall sound is a complicated mess. This is the second record with new frontwoman Vicky Psarakis and it appears she is still finding her feet in the band as her mixed growls and clean vocal deliveries often feel strained. Despite these major flaws, there are still sprinklings of quality, but they don’t provide enough to pick up a very mundane, muddled and flawed record.





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About Terrorizer Magazine

There are only a handful of bands that I absolutely love, have really made a massive impact in my life and, ultimately, don’t let me down when it comes to live shows, recordings or attitudes to life. The Dillinger Escape Plan are one of those bands and it’s an honour to have them grace the cover for the second time while I steer the good ship Terrorizer. I have fond memories of TDEP – from the first time I Interviewed them for another metal magazine in their early days, right through to the last show I recently saw of theirs at the Old Blue Last in London at the tail end of the Summer. Always faultless, it’s safe to say they are going out on a high and while few bands will ever step up to the plate like Dillinger do every night, their legacy and recorded output will last forever, and for that we should be thankful. Kevin Stewart-Panko first interviewed them for these sacred pages, so it was only right that he should interview them one final time. I hope you enjoy his (and the bands’) words and do crank out their new album at the same time – it’s nothing short of breathtaking. Until next month… Darren Sadler