Darkthrone’s New Album Has the Best Title in the History of Black Metal
Darkthrone have long had a talent for coming up with album titles that might be described as “prototypical black metal.” You know what I mean. A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Under a Funeral Moon. Transilvanian Hunger. Arctic Thunder. Anyone who knows about metal hears those titles and immediately knows what kinds their albums contain; anyone who doesn’t know about metal can quickly learn that if an album title references the cold, the dark, or the cold and the dark, it’s probably black metal.
Up until today, though, I’d argue that Darkthrone’s best album title remains that of their 1999 release, Ravishing Grimness, because it borders on satire. In fact, I’m not entirely convinced the band didn’t mean it to be funny.
But now the band has announced that they’ll be releasing a new album — their eighteenth!!! — this summer, and its title can only be described as “magnificent.”
If the album were simply called Eternal Hails, that alone would suggest a Ravishing Grimness-level of winking at the listener.
But the addition of the too-long ellipsis real seals the deal on this title being an all-timer. I mean… why? Why so many so many periods? Why did they look at the title Eternal Hails and go, “Hm, it seems incomplete. You know what it could really use? Six periods.”
If I had to guess, I’d wager that once upon a time, in the days of zines and tape trading, someone wrote someone else a letter that included the titular phrase, complete with the ellipsis. Either that, or Fenriz had the hiccups when he was first writing it down.
Some of the song titles on this album are also pretty interesting. “Hate Cloak” and “Voyage to a North Pole Adrift” are definite attention-getters, but the best one is definitely “Wake of the Awakened” because, again, it bumps right up against being farcical.
Eternal Hails…… will be out June 25 on Peaceville. It was recorded at Chaka Khan Studio in Oslo. There’s no single yet, but you can pre-order it here. The track list, album art, and album trailer are all below. Fun fact: a press release tells us Fenriz “ended up using a drum kit belonging to Carmine Appice when he was in Rod Stewart’s band.” Weird!
According to Fenriz, the songs will be long (the shortest is seven minutes), and will bear a strong doom influence:
“When I was a kid growing up with metal I kept looking for bands with long songs. Black Sabbath had many, and Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion had a long song, so I put that on in the record store and discovered another dimension of metal. Candlemass’ Epicus Doomicus Metallicus had only long songs, so I think I bought that without even listening, and it was one of my best buys ever – an eternal inspiration for my entire career.”
Adds Nocturno Culto:
“For us it has become a bit logical, hard to explain, but you get to build up for a different kind of listening. A three-minute song is nothing we think of at the moment. We like it this way. For now.”
Eternal Hails…… Track List
01. “His Master’s Voice”
02. “Hate Cloak”
03. “Wake of the Awakened”
04. “Voyage to a North Pole Adrift”
05. “Lost Arcane City of Uppakra”