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DARKTHRONE
DARKTHRONE
Frostland Tapes
(Tyrant Syndicate / Peaceville Records)
137:55min

This is every DARKTHRONE fan's ultimate wet dream and at the same time a serious kick in the butt for all the lousy bootleggers out there, who already tried to cash in on the early days of this Norwegian cult act by spreading shitty sounding copies of "Land Of Frost", "A New Dimension", "Thulcandra" and "Cromlech". "Frostland Tapes" is an official release, done by the members of DARKTHRONE and released through their Tyrant Syndicate label in co-operation with Peaceville Records. It is actually way more than just another demo collection, even though it has all four DARKTHRONE tapes on offer as well... This is a massive 3CD set that comes in a deluxe looking digibook type packaging, and it features a 16-pages booklet (with various comments by Fenriz and Nocturno Culto), an old DARKTHRONE bandshot from the "Soulside Journey" session in the middle of it and all demo covers (a little bit too small for my taste though). The digibook itself is completely in black, while the frontcover offers a moody picture of a winter landscape and an embossed DARKTHRONE logo on top of it. And the music? Well, this release pretty much has all DARKTHRONE recordings prior to "Soulside Journey" and more... CD 1 comprises of 1988's debut demo "Land Of Frost", the 2 track instrumental follow-up tape "A New Dimension" and 1989's "Thulcandra" demo plus an extra track from that period, entitled 'Soria Moria'. CD 2 has the "Cromlech" demo from 1989, the rare 1990 studio track 'Iconoclasm Sweeps Cappadocia' and DARKTHRONE's already quite legendary Denmark show from 1990 (7 tracks). CD 3 could probably be seen as a bonus disc in here as its black papersleeve was simply glued to the booklet's backside... It is exclusively dedicated to the original (instrumental) "Goatlord" recordings from 1991 and basically the missing link in the DARKTHRONE recording history as this version was never officially released before (the album of the same name features vocals that were later added). Soundwise you shouldn't expect too much here (remember that all recordings originally were spread on cassettes and recorded in a very poor environment), but at least we finally get to hear them in the best quality there is of each of those often traded items. Next to HELLHAMMER's "Demon Entrails" and SLAUGHTER's "Tortured Souls" boxsets, "Frostland Tapes" is without a doubt one of the finest examples of how to do justice to classic demo material. A DARKTHRONE collection is definitely incomplete without this impressive package. For more info check out www.peaceville.com

Frank Stöver

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