Album Soulside Journey
This is Darkthrone's first album before becoming a Black Metal legend.
Darkthrone is famous for being the great early genre changing Black Metal band. A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Transilvanion Hunger and Under A Funeral Moon are basic albums in any Metal-head's favorite collection.
What is amazing now, some 22 years later, is how wonderful this epic piece of Death really is. It was remastered in 2003 and even though recorded at Sunlight studios for a super low cost, it holds it's own today along with the other Sunlight recordings by Nihilist and Entombed. So many listeners at the time got into Darkthrone's Black Metal albums and disregarded this first record, myself included. Surprise, surprise! And what a great new treat it is.
As the years passed and music changed, many found how special the dirty sound and texture of Swedish death metal was. The stuff is not really the most clear. The music does though have a charm that is copied even in today's releases. One hundred percent atmosphere! The style has a thin drum sound with added echo. The guitar is super dirty and low. You only get guitar tone like this by turning the amps up to level 10. The vocals are both rough and echo sounding. So why would anyone be into it all these years later? Energy! Too much energy to fit into a single recording!
The Energy of Swedish Death Metal is ferocious and huge. The bands are famous and few. Darkthrone is really from Norway but has nailed the sound completely! What we have here is pure and clear in statement. An amazing record that is both fun to listen to and bittersweet as it represents the one and only Death Metal release from Darkthrone. We also hear wild guitar leads which seem to become missing from later records by the band. Yep.....big dark unclean statico-saw guitar, whammy-bar-leads and crazy screams, this record has all the trimmings of a classic Death Metal feast.
We have abrupt stops and tempo changes keeping us on our toes from start to finish. I don't think I have ever heard a tribute to the forever classic Black Sabbath bass lines in such true form. The drums are punk-rock and both minimal and detailed, this is not your Dad's Heavy Metal record! We hear cool 1990s keyboard parts just to spice thing up. The real question is how many perfect double buzz-saw rhythm leads and flowing bass lines can you take on a single CD? This was the successor to Speed-metal and Thrash in it's day.
When this record stops you wish it just kept playing. Lets push play again!
And the groove! This album almost ends up being experimental in sounds. We have clear bass lines, we have super startling cat like screams but most of all we have an underlying groove changing tempo threw-out, always a change-up and never boring. Many a listener has wondered that maybe in a parallel universe another Darkthrone could have completed their whole complete Death Metal output and never went Black.
To tell you the truth, I can't get enough of this album. I looked at it so many times at the CD store but thought that if Darkthone was so good at Death Metal they would not have thought to change their musical style. I guess the time is right to get into this beast now! An epic statement from a time long gone by a band that has crossed genres three times and released 14 full albums of metal. Could this be their best album ever? Did they do it right from the start? When you consider they went from this big sounding "world" called Soulside Journey, to recording cold raw minimalist Black Metal on a four-track tape machine, it really makes you wonder about the musical aesthetics of the time!
I love this record.
This album, with it's cool strange sounds and multi-tempos is never boring and goes to show the world the bright talent these guys owned before the dawn of Black Metal.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 6/28/12 at 3:57am