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(Peaceville Records)

If DARKTHRONE decide to piss off any of their old fans and also the press, it is certainly their choice. If they mean to stir a lot of debates, it is their choice also. If they like to listen to old Rock and Punk albums and play that kind of music - because musically "F.O.A.D." is hardly Black Metal the way DARKTHRONE coined it massively - from now on, yes, it is of course their choice. Still, I don't know if they sometimes simply forget to write and record good songs during this course. The album starts off quite well with 'These Shores Are Damned' and 'Canadian Metal' (different vocals than on the previous single), but starts to lose it from there just to finish it off with two really good songs ('Pervertor Of The 7 Gates' and 'Wisdom Of The Dead'). In their 20th year of existence and having released some albums that are - no doubt - classics of their genre, one may say they are allowed to do whatever they like, so be it, but nevertheless there are some weak points on this album, which I cannot ignore: on the one hand the inconsistent sound (changing from one song to the other, obviously due to the way the album was recorded, i.e. only two songs at a time) and on the other hand Fenriz' partly unbearable vocals, especially in the title-track and 'Raised On Rock'. Surprisingly enough, the album grows on me with every listen. I am not sure though how this album will be viewed in the long run, and despite it not being a bad album, one should definitely try to get an impression before buying it. And DARKTHRONE may - despite their hard effort to destroy their cult-standing - at least try to write a consistent row of good songs, even if they are no longer in the vein of "Under A Funeral Moon", and even if they are having plenty of pints and a good laugh during writing and recording the album, because this is what mostly got lost during the album in my impression. That they can do it is undeniable. It would not even matter if they needed a year longer for an album and no singles in-between. My review sounds inconsistent? So is the album...


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