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Ravishing Grimness

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Album Review

If Darkthrone's modus operandi has always been one of appreciating the simple things about black metal — growling voices, big riffs and a perfectly impenetrable logo unless you squint — there's something to be said about their dedication over the years, which eventually enabled them to aim for a recording quality rather better than on their earliest releases. By the time of Ravishing Grimness, the paper-thin shrieks and feedback of the days of Transilvanian Hunger had long been beefed out some, so hearing the near-lushness (to a degree) of opening track "Lifeless," especially the majestic mid-song break, was more a continuation than a shocking change. Still, the drums are clearly secondary in the mix, but such is life — and the massive bell sounds on the title track do help make up for it. Brief at just over half-an-hour for six songs, Ravishing Grimness might not rank with the best in the genre — or even among Darkthrone's own catalog — but it's a good blast of sound nonetheless. "The Claws of Time" is the standout, its central riffs alternating between pure brawling power on the verses and the kind of sudden stirring uplift via the chorus that is mistakenly thought only to belong to bands that think the Flaming Lips invented all rock & roll. Hearing the almost Motörhead-style raunch of "The Beast" is a touch surprising — it's not boogie rock per se but it's not all that far removed. ~ Ned Raggett^", Rovi


Formed: Oslo, Norway

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Of all the major second wave black metal bands to emerge from Norway's fertile breeding grounds during the early 1990s, only a handful -- Mayhem, Emperor, Enslaved, Ulver -- have achieved the same exalted status and world-wide recognition as the legendary Darkthrone; and arguably none has been as consistent or prolific in the decades that followed. Unlike the majority of their peers, Darkthrone largely refused to tinker with their refreshingly straightforward and savage black metal formula once it...
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Ravishing Grimness, Darkthrone
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