Darkthrone is a band that doesn't need any introduction. They're one of the most prolific bands around and they don't really release anything bad. They've played death metal, black metal and more recently crust punk, so when the band announced their sixteenth full-length album "The Underground Resistance" and released the epic single "Leave No Cross Unturned," it was revealed that the duo had once again changed their style. The six songs that make up "The Underground Resistance" sound exactly how traditional heavy metal would sound if Darkthrone played it. It's dark, memorable and continues Nocturno Culto and Fenriz's reputation of stellar music, no matter what subgenre they're playing.
Anyone who knows about Fenriz and his love for music, old and new, knows that he champions many young (and good) bands today who play old-school metal, and after listening to this record several times it seems like he went to Nocturno and told him that they can play archaic heavy metal just as good as them. The album opener "Dead Early" sets the stage for what's to come throughout the album, with it's catchy riffage to go along with awesome drum fills and bass playing. These two definitely know what it takes to make quality songs because the next song "Valkyrie" is even better than the first song. This track is a lot gloomier and even features some acoustic guitar work, but instead of the harsher vocals that graced "Dead Early," there is a much different vocal style (presumably Fenriz) that hits much higher notes and has a unique tone, making the already terrific music even better. The dual vocal attack throughout these six songs works brilliantly as both men bring a lot to the table with both styles, that fit the songs they're on perfectly.
Of course, what really makes this record is the riffage and all of the other little things that Darkthrone do so well. "Lesser Men" is a heavier track that features some tremolo sections to go along with some faster riffs later on that are sure to induce some headbanging. "Come Warfare, The Entire Doom" sounds like the title suggests, as it isn't short on doomy riffs that creep along, to go along with some great solos. It isn't just how many riffs or melodies the Norwegian duo manage to write for their music, it's how damn good they are able to craft their songs and write them in a memorable and accessible fashion. "The Underground Resistance" is definitely one of the more surprising records of the year, given the dramatic sound change, though it's not too crazy considering the band who did it. And while the more traditional sound may be a surprise, the fact that Darkthrone released another killer album is definitely not.
Highlights - "Valkyrie," "Come Warfare, The Entire Doom" and "Leave No Cross Unturned."
Final Rating - 4.5/5 or 90%.