Released: 2003, Moonfog
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
“I’ve noticed a certain lack of demons lately/And it really worries me sick.” At least, that is what “Striving for a Piece of Lucifer” proclaims on Darkthrone’s tenth and latest album, HATE THEM.
Filthy, raw, and punked-up, Darkthrone make no attempt whatsoever for any type of “light, clean, or pretty” sound in any moment of the album. Really, there is not much here that sets HATE THEM stylistically apart from the rest of Darkthrone’s catalog, though I feel that it lacks the excellent songwriting of the early Darkthrone masterpieces of AbitNS or TRANYSYLVANIAN HUNGER.
When listening to raw metal in Darkthrone’s style, I exclusively enjoy the fast, ripping tracks like “Det Svartner Na,” “Divided We Stand,” and “Striving for a Piece of Lucifer,” over the slow, plodding (and crappy, IMO) “Rust” or “Ytterst I Livet.”
Thankfully, with the exception of the two aforementioned songs, the rest of the album is more or less consistent in sound and style. The real standouts here are “Det Svartner Na,” and “Divided We Stand.” The sickeningly vile and bouncy melody in “Det Svartner Na” really makes the song interesting for me, and “Divided” is an unholy furry of flesh-tearing riffs. The rest of the songs on the album really do sound a lot alike and run together. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, a casual Darkthrone fan such as myself might find it hard to maintain interest.
Overall, I find that HATE THEM lacks the atmosphere of earlier Darkthrone and variation to make it interesting past a couple of listens.