To think that these two are the only members...Darkthrone
is a Black Metal
band from Norway. They formed in the mid-late 80s as a Death Metal
band named Black Death. The original lineup consisted of Gylve Nagell, Ivar Enger, and Anders Risberget (who left the band early on). Ted Skjellum and Dag Nilsen soon joined the band and they changed their name to Darkthrone. After recording and releasing four demos independently, Darkthrone signed to Peaceville Records and recorded their debut album, Soulside Journey
. This was followed by the instrumental demo tape Goatlord
, however the band decided to shelve this album rather than make it into an album proper as they became interested in Black Metal
and changed their musical style accordingly. While recording their next album, A Blaze in the Northern Sky
, the band members adopted pseudonyms - Nagell became "Fenriz", Skjellum became "Nocturno Culto", Enger became "Zephyrous", while Nilsen left after the album was finished. Darkthrone's third album Under a Funeral Moon
, saw the band shed all remaining Death Metal
elements. Zephyrous left after the recording of Funeral
, and the band has remained a two-piece ever since. Their fourth album, Transilvanian Hunger
, had much rawer production than previous releases and was controversial for containing some lyrics and backwards spoken messages from the infamous Varg Vikernes
and for the message "Norsk Arisk Black Metal" ("Norwegian Aryan Black Metal") on the album booklet. (This was changed to "True Norwegian Black Metal" on later pressings, and after the controversy that accompanied the album, Darkthrone issued a statement with their next album saying, "Darkthrone is certainly not a nazi band nor political band, those of you who still might think so, you can lick Mother Mary's asshole in eternity").
Their contract with Peaceville complete, Darkthrone signed to Moonfog Productions (run by Satyr of fellow Black Metal
band Satyricon) and released a string of somewhat lower-profile albums (including a version of the Goatlord
demo with newly-recorded vocals) before returning to Peaceville again in 2005. The band's subsequent releases have incorporated influences from Punk Rock
and traditional Heavy Metal
, with these influences becoming increasingly prominent on more recent albums.
For most of the band's run, Fenriz has been the drummer and lyricist, while Nocturno Culto sang and played most guitar parts. This dynamic has shifted on newer albums, with both members sharing vocal and lyric duties roughly equally (the Total Death
album is notable for having no lyrics by Fenriz at all, instead half the songs have lyrics by Nocturno and the other half have lyrics by various other Black Metal
- A New Dimension (Demo, 1988)
- Land of Frost (Demo, 1988)
- Cromlech (Demo, 1989)
- Thulcandra (Demo, 1989)
- Soulside Journey (Full-length, 1991)
- A Blaze in the Northern Sky (Full-length, 1992)
- Under a Funeral Moon (Full-length, 1993)
- Transilvanian Hunger (Full-length, 1994)
- Panzerfaust (Full-length, 1995) - first release on Moonfog
- Total Death (Full-length, 1996)
- Goatlord (Full-length, 1996) - instrumental parts are demos recorded between Soulside and Blaze, vocals are newly-recorded
- Ravishing Grimness (Full-length, 1999)
- Preparing for War (Compilation, 2001) - re-released in 2005 with an additional CD of rare demos and a DVD of interviews and rare live performances, to commemorate the band's return to Peaceville
- Plaguewielder (Full-length, 2001)
- Hate Them (Full-length, 2003)
- Sardonic Wrath (Full-length, 2004) - last release on Moonfog
- Under beskyttelse av morke (EP, 2005) - vinyl EP released only in Japan
- Too Old, Too Cold (EP, 2006)
- The Cult Is Alive (Full-length, 2006)
- Forebyggende krig (Single, 2006) - vinyl only
- NWOBHM (EP, 2007) - title stands for "New Wave of Black Heavy Metal", a play on New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
- F.O.A.D. (Full-length, 2007) - title stands for "Fuck Off and Die"
- Frostland Tapes (Compilation, 2008) - first two discs contain all four early demos plus a live show, third disc is the original instrumental version of Goatlord including two tracks not on the 1996 release
- Dark Thrones and Black Flags (Full-length, 2008)
- Circle the Wagons (Full-length, 2010)
- The Underground Resistance (Full-length, 2013)
- Bilingual Bonus: A fair number of Darkthrone songs are in Norwegian.
- Berserk Button: Bad drum sounds such as modern bass drums with no real bass (though triggered/electronic drums are okay).
- Black Metal
- Call Back: The Sardonic Wrath album takes its title from a line in the song "Earth's Last Picture" from Total Death.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first album is a Technical Death Metal album with clean production.
- Epic Rocking: At least one song on most albums, although the most extreme example is "Leave No Cross Unturned" from The Underground Resistance, which is over fourteen minutes long. A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Ravishing Grimness and Plaguewielder also have particularly lengthy examples.
- Executive Meddling: Probably a good example in the long run: Darkthrone wanted to include a message on the Transilvanian Hunger album which said "We would like to state that Transilvanian Hunger stands beyond any criticism. If any man should attempt to criticize this LP, he should be thoroughly patronized for his obviously Jewish behavior." Peaceville fortunately said no to this, although the album did include the "Norsk Arisk Black Metal" phrase as mentioned above; however, this was removed in later pressings in favor of the less offensive "True Norwegian Black Metal".
- Long Runner Lineup: Type 2. The band has consisted entirely of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto since Transilvanian Hunger.
- Loudness War: Unfortunately the recent CDs have gotten hit with this pretty badly (with noticeable clipping from The Cult Is Alive onward). The vinyl editions seem to have averted this; the vinyl of The Underground Resistance is pristine.
- Metal Scream
- New Sound Album: A Blaze in the Northern Sky (from Death Metal to Black Metal), The Cult Is Alive (Black Metal to BlackMetal/PunkRock), and The Underground Resistance added in elements of Speed Metal, among various other genres.
- Old Shame: They really, really hate Soulside Journey. Some fans agree, others don't.
- They've softened up on Soulside Journey in recent years but now find Total Death not up to their standards.
- Shout-Out: "Canadian Metal" references several very obscure Canadian metal bands.
- Soprano and Gravel: On recent albums the vocals will alternate between typical Metal Screams and almost King Diamond-esque faux-operatic vocals, amongst other styles.
- Take That: Circle the Wagons contains a very subtle one directed at former Gorgoroth bassist King ov Hell, with ANTI-KING OV HELL 001 being printed in the liner notes.
- They often make jabs at Emperor despite being friends with the band, such as Fenriz's praise of Detente's "big sunglasses, not Emperor sunglasses!"
- Three Chords and the Truth: Their crust/Venom-worship material.
- Most of their post-Soulside Journey material, really, though some albums qualify more than others.
- What Could Have Been: According to the liner notes on the special edition of Circle the Wagons, the band's current sound is what Darkthrone might have sounded like all along had Fenriz and Nocturno had the resources and record collections in 1988 that they do today.