April 20, 2016

Darkthrone - A Blaze In The Northern Sky (1992)

A Blaze In The Northern Sky is Darkthrone's first album after their career switched from death metal path to the black metal path. Darkthrone was intrigued by the direction fellow musicians associated with Helvete's operations--Dead, Euronymous, and Varg Vikernes, especially--were leading Norwegian metal. Their music was subsequently inspired and fueled by the deep-cutting, ultra-abrasive guitar work of Euronymous. A Blaze In The Northern Sky is one of the earliest true examples of second generation black metal that is recorded in an actual studio and properly mixed. While the guitars are given a cold envelope with a large sound capacity in the mastering, the music is neither sludgy nor are your ears shredded by excruciating fuzz. The drumming isn't just total tom abuse either, one of the few problems I have with Mayhem's full-length debut, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The riffs Nocturno Culto comes up with are some of the most compelling I've heard in the genre and noticeably still very inspired by the death metal scene Darkthrone was once familiar with. The thrash/black metal fusion Bathory exhibits is an obvious influence on this music too (but with no viking metal, thank god). While this might not be the purest example of black metal Darkthrone has to offer or even my favorite album of theirs, it is still one of the elite recordings in the genre and an incredible listen.


A Blaze In The Northern Sky