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THE METAL OBSERVER - Review - DARKTHRONE - Circle the Wagons

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93 tablatures for Darkthrone

Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons (7/10) - Norway - 2010

Genre: Heavy Metal / Black Metal
Label: Peaceville Records
Playing time: 41:01
Band homepage: Darkthrone


  1. Those Treasures Will Never Befall You
  2. Running for Borders
  3. I Am the Graves of the 80s
  4. Stylized Corpse
  5. Circle the Wagons
  6. Black Mountain Totem
  7. I Am the Working Class
  8. Eyes Burst At Dawn
  9. Bränn Inte Slottet
Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons

Once was some critters from that Norwegian way,

Brought black and ice to shit on your day,

From the back of their cave came an unholy sound,

Grim was the expression as they pissed on Metal's hallowed ground.

And whilst their stark music was filled with acerbity,

Deep within gnawed a maggot of absurdity,

For stirring amongst the coldness and bile.

Was a twitch turning a grimace into a crack'd smile.

As years pass, so frost must thaw,

What would this impish duo have in store,

Wading away from the stench of Hell's effluence,

Wispy whiskers grinned at an altogether new confluence.

Looking for different rackets to inspire,

They dragged Punk from it's funeral pyre,

Flinging its traits at their blackened core,

Presenting a cacophony for some to abhor.

Having settled well and truly in the land of who gives a fuck,

Our hairy heroes seemed content to try their luck,

But as we are all wont to discover,

The prodigal child always returns to the teet of the mother.

So would old school Heavy Metal be cure or curse,

Would it's influence on Darkthrone be better or worse,

Would it be a remedy for all the band's ills,

Or would it be a case of run to the hills.

The question for “Circle The Wagons” is as to whether,

It's got the whiff of wimmin, beer, denim and leather,

What emotions will be felt,

By the balding geezer in the bullet belt.

Truth is that whatever the palava,

This has got riffs first heard by your father,

Granted it has an air of authenticity,

But does it spark with electricity.

Whilst it's rare to find an album that suffers no glitch,

Here some fuckers got their hand on the dimmer switch,

So we have some sections where they ramp up the amps,

There's others that merely glow like old oil lamps.

One thing you have to give to our snowbound yokels,

Is how they present the vocals,

Cos even in the days of Metal's might,

Most of the singing was fucking shite.

It doesn't matter how this is painted,

Much of the hollerin' is tainted,

By the the way the clean singing narrowly,

Avoids accusations of parody.

Fortunately there are times when they miss the rough,

And keep the yelling well and truly gruff,

It's much more welcome and less likely to appal,

When Darkthrone stick to rough-house bark and bawl.

With ears pegged back ready to listen,

Lets see what else we've been missin',

Does this really hark back to the Eighties,

Is it gonna silence the haters.

As a jack the lad at that time,

Will I make this music mine,

Whilst there's elements that I recognise,

It's mostly the aspects that I despise.

The best paths along which this pair tread,

Are the ones that lead towards Motorhead,

The other influences I can take or leave,

I fear that they don't have many aces up their sleeve.

It seems to me that their choices were cut from the ordinary,

The result doesn't really upset me to the point of ornery,

But this album could be much improved,

If chaff from wheat was removed.

Thankfully, this is Darkthrone,

So there is not too much cause to moan,

Because for every instance of a gaffe,

They fuck about and make me laugh.

I'm not gonna fret and become delirious,

It's clear these clowns ain't too serious,

They may be earnest in their homage,

But it's also weighted with fromage.

What makes the difference is that they haven't turned their back,

On every element that made them Black,

Their take on a Heavy Metal rendition,

Doesn't rely too much on tradition.

And their enthusiasm hasn't shrunk,

For everything that is Punk,

It's not there to the same degree,

But neither has it gone completely.

I take the view that this album,

Is composed to stop you feeling glum,

It's hard not to feel content,

With such preposterous lyrical content.

I don't think you could call me wrong,

To say that “Circle The Wagons” induces sing-a-long,

And whilst this work isn't perfect,

It's far from something to reject.

As a pairing of old and older,

Darkthrone couldn't be much bolder,

But I don't think it would provoke many shocks,

If I said this album is a bag of bollocks.

(Online July 21, 2011)

Niall MacCartney

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