After forming in 1986 under the name Black Death (perhaps after to the disease, not the two metal genres), the group eventually changed their name to Darkthrone, and released their first album Soulside Journey
in 1990. Despite being a very strong debut album from the Norwegians, it didn’t take long before the then-death metal act to convert to black metal
both musically and image-wise, with the band members wearing corpse paint and working under pseudonyms – something that made them fit in much more with their ‘kvlt’ countrymen.
Black Metal Days:
While 1992’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky is generally regarded as the group’s first foray in black metal, it wasn’t until the following year's Under A Funeral Moon that Darkthrone had become a certified black metal act, with the rough production and controversial nature of the classic Transilvanian Hunger and Panzerfaust albums furthering the band (now only made up of founding members Nocturno Culto and Fenriz) into the legendary status.
After consistently releasing new records every two or so years, Darkthrone’s sound began to change into a more hardcore/crust punk style, with 2006’s The Cult Is Alive the first release to show off the band’s new style. While the stylistic change might have caught fans off guard, their latest releases Dark Thrones and Black Flags (2008) and 2010’s Circle the Wagons have won them plaudits across the metal spectrum, and highlights that the duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto have still plenty of gasoline in the tank, 14 albums into their varied career.
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Current Darkthrone Band Members:
Nocturno Culto – lead guitar, bass guitar, vocals, lyrics
Fenriz– drums, rhythm guitar, bass, vocals, lyrics
Former Band Members:
Ivar Enger (Zephyrous) – guitar (1988–1993)
Dag Nilsen – bass guitar (1988–1991)
Anders Risberget – guitar (1988)
1991 Soulside Journey
1992 A Blaze in the Northern Sky
1993 Under a Funeral Moon
1994 Transilvanian Hunger
1996 Total Death
1999 Ravishing Grimness
2003 Hate Them
2004 Sardonic Wrath
2006 The Cult Is Alive
2008 Dark Thrones and Black Flags
2010 Circle the Wagons
2013 The Underground Resistance
Recommended Darkthrone Album:
Steeped in notoriety, no doubt thanks to the lyrical contribution from the highly controversial Varg Vikernes, Transilvanian Hunger is the album were everything just clicked for the newly two-piece Darkthrone. While the lo-fi production and screeching vocals will be enough to put off more ‘casual’ metal fans, the album is basically the very essence of the Norwegian black metal scene. The primitive recording creates a great atmosphere throughout, with the opening title track defining the band in six minutes, and to be blunt, if you don’t this record, then you probably will never be a fan of the classic black metal era.