Darkthrone hail from Norway and for the past decade have been at the forefront of the infamous Black Metal movement - quite an achievement for a band who have only ever played a handful of live shows.
In 1986 they rose up from the darkness, brought to life by Gylve Nagell (drummer), Ted Skjellum (guitars/vocals), Ivar Enger (guitars) and Dag Nilsen (bass).
Under this line up the band released 3 demos, Land Of Frost, Thulcandra and Cromlech before signing to Peaceville Records in a 4-album deal.
Darkthrone's debut album 'Soulside Journey' (1991) was recorded at the much acclaimed Sunlight Studios in Sweden, and shows a major band at the beginning of a justly celebrated career of evil.
A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Darkthrone's second album, was originally issued in 1992 and was without question the blueprint release for the Black Metal scene.
An album that defined the now ubiquitous phrase 'True Norwegian Black Metal', it was hailed on release as an album of true scene shifting greatness.
The album saw a whole new blacker than black Darkthrone, new names, new sound and highly visual black and white artwork.
Fenriz claimed 'This is the new Darkthrone, the old Darkthrone is dead'.
Under A Funeral Moon, Darkthrone's third album, was originally released by Peaceville in 1993
The album is a bleak reflection of the times with harsh guitar riffage and hateful vocals underpinned by Fenriz' celebrated tight and complex drum patterns.
Continuing with the highly impactive black and white artwork the band nurture their lo-fi approach with a sound that is simple, focused and completely unconcerned with modern day aesthetics.
This is the album that most Darkthrone fans hail as the ultimate manifesto for Black Metal.
Simply one of the greatest Black Metal Albums of all time.
'Goatlord' is the title of what was to originally be Darkthrone's second album.
The style followed very much in the vein of the debut, 'Soulside Journey', with a mid-paced melodic, yet technical death metal style.
After the recording of the tracks in their completed demo form in 1991, however, Darkthrone's focus shifted towards black metal and so the album was shelved, while work commenced on what was to be the Norwegian black metal milestone, 'A Blaze in the Northern Sky', which did actually incorporate some parts from the 'Goatlord' tracks. 'Goatlord' was only ever recorded instrumentally, and so it wasn't until 1994 that Fenriz added vocals to the songs, with the album eventually seeing a release on the band's then label, Moonfog Productions in 1996.
'Total Death' was the sixth album from Norwegian black metal legends Darkthrone, and was originally released in 1996.
The song-writing on 'Total Death' was split equally between the 2 members, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, with Nocturno supplying lyrics to his own songs, whilst Fenriz gave the honour to notable members of the Norwegian metal scene: Garm from Ulver, Ihsahn from Emperor, Carl-Michael Eide from Aura Noir/Ved Buens Ende and Satyr from Satyricon. The album delivers a classic dose of mid and up-tempo black metal, along with thrash, such as on the track 'Blasphemer'.
Plaguewielder was the name of Darkthrone's ninth album and it was originally released in 2001.
The album contained the trademark Darkthrone riffing in the black metal style, plus fast and mid-tempo tracks mixed with punk and heavy metal influences from the 80s and beyond, plus a production which brought an extra clarity to the overall execution.
‘Hate Them’ was Darkthrone’s tenth album and was originally released in 2003.
The album was a fine example of masterful primitive black metal riffing along with the integration of other 80’s punk and metal influences from the long-standing duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, all executed in the unmistakable Darkthrone style. The album was recorded at Pan Lydstudio and engineered by Lars Klokkerhaug. The album intro and outro was created by Lrz from fellow Norwegian act Red Harvest.
’Hate Them’ is regarded among the best received albums the band released during their time with then-label, Moonfog Productions.
Writing began on 'FOAD' straight after the completion of last year's acclaimed 'The Cult is Alive'.
Recorded, mixed & all self-produced once again at the band's own Necrohell 2 studios throughout the first half of 2007, this labour of love (or is it hate') travels deep into the open seas of a rich musical heritage; a celebration of rock and metal; moving further from the pure primitive black metal they were once known for, but still embracing the roots of what made this tree grow so far and wide.
Yet still, Darkthrone only exist according to their OWN rules. Summarised perfectly by Fenriz, FOAD 'SOUNDS LIKE A WAR BETWEEN ATLANTIS AND THE REST OF PLANET!'.
Dark Thrones & Black Flags is equal parts Fenriz and Nocturno Culto.
The duo share song-writing and vocal duties throughout the release (with some surprising results) and further perfect the art of the riff. A deceptive mastery of composition is also evident on possibly their strongest release of recent times, an album of stripped down, dirty metal.
Recorded and produced by the band themselves at Necrohell II studios, Norway, Dark Thrones & Black Flags is an exercise in pushing the conventions of the narrow perception of what should make black metal, becoming more timeless and faithful to its spirit than most could ever wish for in the process.
Darkthrone are a legendary name in metal, inspiring countless bands throughout the years as one of the leaders of the Scandinavian black metal movement in the early 90's, alongside other greats such as Burzum, Immortal and Mayhem.
The unrelenting Norwegian duo deliver a new feast of metal and punk. From their thrash and death beginnings to their ascension to the pantheon of black metal greats, Darkthrone have always refused to stand still.
They continue to embrace and explore their roots and capture the real spirit of sonic greatness on CIRCLE THE WAGONS; recorded by the band themselves at Necrohell II studios.
Artwork for the album comes once again courtesy of Dennis Dread, notable for his talents on previous Darkthrone albums, F.O.A.D and 2008's Dark Thrones and Black Flags.
Darkthrone began in the late 80's as a thrash/death metal act and progressed through technical death/doom metal experimentation to become hugely respected and influential legends of the black metal world, and one of the original leading forces of the Norwegian scene, alongside other legendary acts such as Mayhem and Burzum.
'Sempiternal Past' contains all 4 of Darkthrone's cult demo releases recorded between 1988-1989 ('Land of Frost', 'A New Dimension', 'Thulcandra', & 'Cromlech') and shows the remarkable development of the band in its early years.
Each demo has now been fully restored and re-mastered from the best tape sources available, specifically for this release.
The cd booklet features liner notes, lyrics and rare photos of the band in their early years.