Home > Music > Quickie: Darkthrone – Under a Funeral Moon

Quickie: Darkthrone – Under a Funeral Moon

The cover art for Darkthrone's 3rd album. It's grim. You want the lowdown on this old Darkthrone album?

It’s grim, but as far as I’m concerned, not in the same frostbitten way that stuff like Immortal’s “Pure Holocaust” is. No mountain soundscapes and nature for you. “Under a Funeral Moon” seems to eschew that in order to sound like disease and depravity, like it’s 1349 and the Black Death (Darkthrone used to go by this name, you know) is hitting Norway.

It helps that, in spite of the constant blast-beating, the riffs move at a somewhat middling tempo and change much slower than the average sort of black metal I listen to (Emperor seemingly incorporated more hyperspeed blasting parts into their music with each passing album, Blut Aus Nord seems to use more midpaced drumming, and occasionally lapses into ambient passages, etc).

But outside the differing rhythms, all those bands have relatively better production, and more importantly go for much more melodic songwriting; even Darkthrone went for that on the albums immediately preceding and following this. Now I’m not even remotely familar with the rest of Darkthrone’s discography, as I am still in the processing of absorbing “A Blaze in the Northern Sky”, but if this is them at the most depraved, then I guess Transylvanian Hunger and such would be more accessible than most black metallers give credit for. But first, they have to get through the extreme minimalism and cyclism. But your average pop listener likes the stagnation of Lady Gaga and Nickleback such, would it be that hard for them to make the aesthetic change and end up listening to, if  not Darkthrone, a band that mocks it by taking said aesthetic and replacing it with basic rock? Extreme metal is kinda popular these days, so I’m guessing some listeners already HAVE made the change, i.e. they want their “Bad Romance” with shrieks, Satanism, and lo-fi production.

P.S: With Quickies, I intend to move away from opinions, as I generally haven’t listened to these things long enough to decide whether I actually like them or not. Hence, the attempts at objectively describing the musical elements.

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