Fuck Off and Die
Peaceville Records 2007
Darkthrone hits us squarely in the face with their new album of ugly blackened metal. FOAD is Darkthrone's most varied and "strange" album to date but it is most utterly a perfect insight into their musical vision and illustrates their attitude in regards to the scene and metal in general. This time around five of the songs are penned by Fenriz and you can pretty much pick who wrote what based on how punk and ugly or how atmospheric the track is with Nocturno's being the most atmospheric of the two.
The opening cut These Shores are Damned is one of the best songs to come out of the Darkthrone camp in recent years with its gripping and thoroughly atmospheric riffs. The three minute mark finds extended strums that fill me with nostalgia and sorrow and brings These Shore Are Damned to a sort of climax as a mournful, wailing guitar solo haunts me for the rest of the song.
Canadian Metal is Fenriz's ode to the Canadian thrash scene from the 80s though musically it is much more primitive and less refined than most of the bands he hails like the godly Sacrifice(Pyrokenesis). Those Falsetto Vokillz during the chorus are the definition of METAL!!!!!!!!
The slowest and possibly darkest track on the album is Church of Real Metal which plods along like Black Sabbath minus any open blues influence. Towards the end of the song the tempo picks up somewhat and brings to mind last couple of minutes of Forbyggende Krig from the Cult is Alive with a sort of rockin' goth rhythm and a kick ass solo tying up all the loose ends.
The Banners of Old implies that it is going follow in the same footsteps as its predecessor as it opens at a snail's pace before kicking in to a headbanging, fist pounding midtempo romp. Contained within its folds is the most emotional guitar lead Darkthrone has ever recorded and the song's midsection ebbs and flows with emotional highs and lows.
The title cut, FOAD, is such a strange song with odd riffing patterns sort of sown together but somehow it works and Fenriz's vokillz openly castrate all critics of Darkthrone, surging both in clean shouts and black metal screeches. Darkthrone has become a filthy barroom brawler musically speaking and this song is the perfect embodiment to that ethos.
Splitkein Fever is my favorite track on the album being the coldest of all the tracks with traditional Norwegian black metal riffing and lyrics that emote his disdain for worthless humans and embody the misanthropic feelings inspired by the isolated North.
Raised on Rock represents another sort of tribute to Venom mainly and Acid Queen is mentioned lyrically. This song rocks and is a classic metal song infused with rock and is dirty and full of scorn for all metal that is modern and plastic.
Stylized Celtic Frost references abound in chunky riffing and Tom G Warrior inspired bellows on Pervertor of the Seven Gates which I think represents Fenriz's best composition on the album.
Nocturno Culto's Wisdom of the Dead closes out the album in much the same fashion as it opened with some more 90s style black metal with cold and atmospheric riffing that speaks of the Nordic scene in its glory days but with a sort of NWOBHM undercurrent in some of its riffs.
FOAD sees Darkthrone not including any lyrics which will probably be disappointing to those who follow the words of Fenriz religiously. Also Nocturno Culto scribed the lyrics fro two of the songs. The production varies slightly from song to song but the only place it is really noticeable is on the guitars of Splitkein Fever which has a thinner and colder guitar sound than the rest of the album. Fenriz tries his hand...errrr throat on four of the songs here (Raised on Rock, FOAD, Canadian Metal, and Pervertor of the 7 Gates), where his voice is much more dramatic than Nocturno's more straightforward approach. FOAD is excellent but I am certain it will generate more controversy than any recent Darkthrone albums have as it seethes with venomous hatred aimed at certain cliques within the metal scene. It is my feeling that this album is a middle finger in the face of expectations and those mid 90s black metal traditionalists who can't seem to grip that those days are over. But if you think their castle was built of sand Then bring on the tide because you can FUCK OFF AND DIE!!!!!