Darkthrone : It Beckons Us All

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Darkthrone It beckons us all review

It Beckons Us All is the 20th album from Darkthrone, late enough in their career that we can safely assume that anyone reading this review knows who they are by now. Perhaps it’s worth another listen to the Transilvanian Hunger vinyl that moved units during the Great Barista Blackening of 2010, as the group’s rise in popularity among punks and indie listeners hit an all-time high. Which seemed only fair, given that Darkthrone’s own Fenriz was just getting the punk out of his system on extra-crusty albums like Circle the Wagons and Dark Thrones and Black Flags. From that point forward, the pendulum swung back again toward old-school black metal and its early heavy metal influences, and It Beckons Us All is the album that sees their Celtic Frost-style gothic heavy metal phase paying off.

Their Celtic Frost worship is frequently substituted on this album by riffs that also show their adoration of Mercyful Fate. That does not mean they are breaking out bone cross microphone stands yet, however. Plenty of sonic trademarks remain in play here amid the varying levels of nostalgia. The guitars ring out with a cold Nordic grimness, giving this release a darker chill than that of bands who try to dial their Orange amps in to capture the sound of a certain era. Right from the opening track, the guitar chords carry an eerie melancholy. While the group aren’t attempting to make straightforward black metal, the essence of the genre can still be heard—it’s simply a part of who they are. 

The first glaring moment of Mercyful Fate influence can be heard on “Eon 3,” though the song is more sung than snarled, with no attempt to soar into a King Diamond-like falsetto register. Though on the whole the vocals sound stronger than on past albums here, where previous efforts to deliver a metal croon never sounded as if they were fully committed to the bit. It’s admirable of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto to buckle down and put their guts into more powerful singing 20 albums deep in their career. They renewed desire to hone their craft, rather than just dial it in, something that is also felt in the melodic nuances that can be heard throughout It Beckons Us All

“The Bird People Of Nordland” works off a heavier crunch, and marks where the album steps back into the realm of Celtic Frost-style gothic thrash. They continue to come up with riffs that induce head-banging, while seemingly uniniterested trying to appease fans who want to hold onto the band they were in 1994. Yet as it speeds up into a thrashing tempo, “The Bird People of Nordland” comes close enough to black metal to satisfy fans who have been dissatisfied with the direction they’ve taken since Sardonic Wrath.

Final song “The Lone Pines of the Lost Planet” has a massive riff that could cause a powerful reverberation in arenas, despite the band’s refusal to punch a clock and tour. It’s a mammoth ten-minute sprawl that grinds down into crusty chug, bringing to mind doom heavyweights like Cathedral. The song ends with a riff reminiscent of Ratt, which sparks the thought that if Darkthrone wanted to follow in the footsteps of Tom G. Warrior, the next logical step would be to make a hair metal album. Until such an event sees the light of day this album is a satisfying return from the prolific black metal icons, continuing to prove that the journey they’ve been on since Arctic Thunder has been worth it.

Label: Peaceville

Year: 2024

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Darkthrone It beckons us all review

Darkthrone: It Beckons Us All

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