April 23, 2016

Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger (1994)


Transilvanian Hunger is Darkthrone's best work. The riffs are absolutely brilliant and carry the album with their simplicity and cyclical melodies. The few solos on here carry the most emotion in all black metal I've heard up to this point, but they aren't Dragonforce-esque wanking like Dissection and bands like them. The recording/engineering quality is water tight, how they achieved such a narrow and powerful soundscape without an instrument imbalance so consistent throughout the album is beyond me. The finished studio product is raw as fuck, but this seems engineered better than anything else in all of black metal besides maybe the early Burzum albums. The guitars aren't shrill or ear-tearing, the bass can be heard clearly without sounding overbearing and turning the album into a murky mess, and the drum tracks are succinct and well placed in the sound stage. The intensity is really flattened in the mix and thrives without any echoes or overly-forced panning. What I'll remember most is how the album was the first in black metal to ever move me on an emotional level. Transilvanian Hunger is seriously as good as the hype surrounding it and should be the first anybody hears from the genre.

Sample

Transilvanian Hunger