BravePicks 2016 - DARKTHRONE's Arctic Thunder #7
December 25, 2016, 2 years ago
Another gruelling year of heavy metal mastery is almost over! And all the votes are in and the compiling is complete! It's time to celebrate the winners and call out the not-so winners! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2016 throughout December! And once again our devout scribes put their collective metal minds together to build the ultimate lists including individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments, Top 3 Concerts, What/Who Needs To Stop In 2017? and Metal Predictions For 2017. All will be showcased come the New Year!
'Tis the season to commence the good, bad and ugly of 2016! Let’s rock!
7) DARKTHRONE - Arctic Tundra (Peaceville)
Norwegian duo, Darkthrone, released their eagerly-anticipated new album, Arctic Thunder, in October via Peaceville. Arctic Thunder marks the band's first new studio material since 2013's triumphant The Underground Resistance, its most successful release in recent years.
Fenriz explains he band's vision in 2016: "An eclectic mix of free-spirited '80s fueled blackened heavy metal, all executed in Darkthrone's trademark raw and organic style, Arctic Thunder was recorded and produced by the band themselves, with the sessions conducted at Darkthrone's old rehearsal unit, The Bomb Shelter, which was originally used during 1988-1990. Mastering is once again handled by Jack Control at Enormous Door."
In his glowing 9/10 review scribe Jason Deaville wrote:
Looking back through the nearly thirty-year catalog of recorded history by those within Nordic black metal, it's clear that it doesn't get more bare bones and humble than Darkthrone. That said, their last release, 2013's The Underground Resistance, is the exception to this rule. Prior to this stylistic shift, the band released a string of punk-infused albums that really started to take hold on 2006's The Cult Is Alive. Standing alone as a balls-to-the-wall, anthem-filled ode to all that is old-school metal, The Underground Resistance was certainly a welcome change for those that wanted a bit more steel in their Darkthrone. There is a decidedly more upbeat tone that pervades the entirety of the album, which, to these ears, felt a little out of place. Perhaps it's the Norwegian Black Metal elitist in me that never quite understood what Fenriz and his partner in grime, Nocturno Culto, were trying to lay down. Nevertheless, it's a solid album that showcased the diversity and integrity of its creators.
Three years on, I sit here today barely able to contain my excitement as I spin - for the umpteenth time - Darkthrone's lastest work, Arctic Thunder. It's immediately apparent that this thing is a return to the tundra, so to speak. An even simpler way to describe it is that it sounds exactly like the images that the title alone - Arctic Thunder - conjures in the occipital lobe of your blackened brain. Not much else to say, really. But, in the spirit of a review proper, let's dig a little deeper into the darkened permafrost.
The album starts with what I consider to be the two best opening tracks on a Darkthrone album since '95's Panzerfaust. If you recall, that album opened with the incredible duo of "En Vind Av Sorg" and the "Triumphant Gleam" - both the former and latter lulling the listener into a hazy, snowblind, blizzard-induced hypnosis. Arctic Thunder, in much the same way, opens with the aptly-titled "Tundra Leech" and "Burial Bliss", with the latter of this mesmeric twosome being the album's highlight - and it's most 'trve/cvlt' moment.
Read more here.
BravePicks 2016 Top 31
7) DARKTHRONE - Arctic Thunder (Peaceville)
8) MESHUGGAH - The Violent Sleep Of Reason (Nuclear Blast)
9) FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - Flotsam And Jetsam (AFM Records)
10) TOMBS - All Empires Fall (Relapse)
11) THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - Disssociation (Sumerian / Party Smasher)
12) DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT - Transcendence (HevyDevy)
13) WITCHERY – In His Infernal Majesty’s Service (Century Media)
14) ABBATH - S/T (Season Of Mist)
15) DARK FUNERAL - Where Shadows Forever Reign (Century Media)
16) ASPHYX - Incoming Death (Century Media)
17) GOJIRA - Magma (Roadrunner)
18) THE DEAD DAISIES - Make Some Noise (SPV / Spitfire)
19) INSAHN - Arktis. (Candlelight)
20) NAILS - You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast)
21) CROWBAR - The Serpent Only Lies (eOne)
22) BORKNAGAR - Winter Thrice (Century Media)
23) ENTOMBED A.D. - Dead Dawn (Century Media)
24) TREMONTI - Dust (Fret 12)
25) OPETH - Sorceress (Moderbolaget/Nuclear Blast)
26) HAMMERFALL - Built To Last (Napalm)
27) EPICA - The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)
28) DARK TRANQUILLITY - Atoma (Century Media)
29) SUMERLANDS - S/T (Relapse)
30) RUNNING WILD – Rapid Foray (SPV)
31) AVANTASIA – Ghostlights (Nuclear Blast)