Released by: Peaceville Records
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
Genre: Heavy/Black Metal
Nocturno Culto (Ted Skjellum) – guitar, bass guitar, vocals, lyrics
Fenriz (Gylve Fenris Nagell) – drums, guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals, lyrics
1. Dead Early
3. Lesser Men
4. The Ones You Left Behind
5. Come Warfare, the Entire Doom
6. Leave No Cross Unturned
Darkthrone have long been extreme music masters. From their death metal roots and then their black metal period to more recently crust punk Darkthrone are mainstays on the scene. Now with Leave No Cross Unturned Darkthrone offer up 6 stellar tracks that are exquisitely crafted and very fun to listen too. From the hard rock beginnings of Dead Early to the epic choruses of Leave No Cross Unturned this is a monster of an album that will pick you up and never let you put it down. Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have proven that they still blow you away and if anything has gotten better.
This is a very light hearted release and not really what I would expect from Darkthrone, even on an album that is as hard rock influenced as this one. While there are still black metal and crust punk parts here and there that is not the key focus of the album. Instead there are some fairly accessible riffs that fit nicely into brilliantly arranged tracks that stay fresh no matter what their length. The perfect example of this is Leave No Cross Unturned which stays dynamic and fun for its entire 13 and a half minute duration. Something that most prog bands could never manage to do and I doubt any modern hard rock band would even attempt such a feat. In short, Leave No Cross Unturned is remarkably tasty and always fresh, it shows a great new direction forward for Darkthrone.
I’m on my third listen of the album today and I still love every second of it. The way the 6 songs fit together is fabulous. They flow nicely into each other creating a wholly integrated sound that reflects the spirit of the album. There are elements here that Culto and Fenriz would never have dared to try before, for example, the epic, almost power metally(!) choruses on Valkryie which beg to be sung along to. Another example might be the gritty Zakk Wylde type vocals that dominate the albums third track Lesser Men. This band is far different than the one you knew back in the 90s. They have come full circle, going from the most extreme borders of metal to something everyone can headbang to and love.
In sum, Darkthrones most dynamic and ‘heavy metal’ effort yet this is an album that needs to be loved. The majesty of the arrangements and the way they flow together to create a unique whole that is pure and untouchable is incredible. It shows a band ready to take a new step forward, away from their more extreme roots into a more fun, yet still fairly grim universe. With a nice sense of humor and all of the masterful musicianship that make Darkthrone Darkthrone Leave No Cross Unturned is probably my favorite metal release of 2013 thus far.
Written by Matt