DARKTHRONE: A Blaze In The Northern Sky LP (180g black vinyl)
It is no mere hyperbole to declare A Blaze one of the most important metal albums ever released, this superb opus capturing Darkthrone’s conversion from technical death metal to ‘80s inspired black metal in flawless fashion, kicking off the band’s most essential trilogy of records in the process. While it is technically the first full-length Norwegian black metal album (only just, mind, Burzum’s self-titled debut was released the same month) it actually contains some obvious death metal touches upon closer inspection, since three of the six songs were written prior to the conversion and were, to use Fenriz’s words, ‘blackened’ for the occasion.
Influences from Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost are also clearly evident at several points – no bad thing of course – yet this is as fresh and explosive a statement of intent as it was 30 years ago, clearly signposting the arrival of a new era of black metal. The riffs here are phenomenal and often surprisingly catchy, the vocals are vitriolic, the percussion unfussy yet effective, and the songs are imbued with a genuinely unholy atmosphere and inherent sense of drama, the latter accentuated during the many bridges and songwriting sidesteps. An invigorating listen in its own right, the record also laid down an icy and monochromatic template that thousands of bands have adopted in the years since its release.
Presented here on black 180g vinyl with double sided printed inner sleeve.
1. Kathaarian Life Code
2. In the Shadow of the Horns
3. Paragon Belial
4. Where Cold Winds Blow
5. A Blaze in the Northern Sky
6. The Pagan Winter
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[Item type: black metal LP]