Review by Denis on August 7, 2003.
The pioneers of Norwegian Black Metal have been resurrected after a two year stint and are as vicious and hateful as ever. "Hate Them" is their 10th outing after having solidly established themselves in 1987. According to the band's bio, this album was recorded and mixed in 26 hours 'the true Darkthrone way.' From that comment we all know what to expect; raw, direct and rough.
Darkthrone doesn't want to be refined; they have succeeded by not paying too much attention to intricate details and spending as little time as possible in studio. The result is a raw, black sound giving the feeling it was recorded live without the annoying applauses, screams and whistling usually involved in concerts. The only sophistication is the electronic samplings opening and closing the album. The pace caught me by surprise on "Hate Them" and it's not the usual high speed black tempo that we might be used to from Darkthrone, but mostly played at mid pace. Darkthrone can throw in some awesome authentic environment, too, just as in 'Ytterst I Livet' sang in their native tongue but remaining melodic and catchy too. What I like the most in this album is the atmosphere that the Norwegians are giving us translating by being a musical venture as thrilling as it is dark with much blackened lyrics. See for yourself: "Black Metal is the devil's fuel"; "With rigid cramp or silent fear I strangle what you do hold dear..."
Bottom Line: Nocturno Culto and Fenriz will remain comfortably seated in their dark throne...
Categorical Rating Breakdown:
Rating: 6.4 out of 10