To celebrate the release of the epic new Darkthrone album, Eternal Hails, that is released today on Peaceville Records, the band have premiered the album’s opening track “His Masters Voice”
The animated lyric video created by Matthew Vickerstaff, has been inspired by the album’s stunning artwork that features the piece “Pluto and Charon” (1972), from renowned science fiction artist David A. Hardy; a hugely inspirational image for both Fenriz & Nocturno Culto spanning several decades, and this also stands as a symbolic link between the genre-bending styles apparent on Darkthrone’s earliest works, to those same traits evident on Eternal Hails.
The Norwegian black metal legends, show that within five tracks and 45 minutes on their 19th album, Eternal Hails, they remain defiantly and eternally Darkthrone.
On Eternal Hails, the longer, doomier songs reflect drummer Fenriz’s love of doom, taking their time to make their point. For Fenriz, what he and co-conspirator Nocturno Culto have concocted stretches back even further than discovering black metal, to the sounds of the ’70s and the more freewheeling sounds of bands playing with more expansive themes. This didn’t just make the songs longer, it made them an entirely different beast from the ground up.
Lyrically, Eternal Hails follows previous Darkthrone concepts, in that it has no concept. Each song stands alone, words and music done separately, until such a time as one needs to find the other.
Fenriz explains “As I write lyrics that have a life on their own these days (again), there is no concept of them to match the songs themselves,” says Fenriz. “The lyrics collect dust while we make the songs, and then Ted needs the lyrics for his vocals in the studio and he gets them then. So I have no idea what song is going to be called what until I come back to the studio after the vocals are done. Again, with us it is coincidental. The lyrics did not inspire any of the songs or songwriting. When we make the songs it is a matter of just trusting our lives in heavy metal and – BOOM! – create, create, create, and then put the pieces together.
Having recorded all albums since 2004 using their own Necrohell II studio – a portable 8-track recorder housed in an old bomb shelter, itself a replacement for the original Necrohell 4-track used for Transilvanian Hunger and Panzerfaust, until it became “too necro” and broke – for Eternal Hails the band went to Chaka Khan Studio in Oslo for the first time.
Though the material was almost all finished ahead of the session, something the new studio and new way of working did allow for on Eternal Hails, was the opportunity to experiment with ideas on the hoof.
In a world changing too fast for anything to stick, Darkthrone are both able to stay fresh, but also reassuringly reliable. And no matter where they record, what they do or what gear the use to do it – Fenriz actually ended up using a drum kit belonging to Carmine Appice when he was in Rod Stewart’s band this time around – this, it seems, will never and can never change.
As Fenriz himself puts it, “No matter what happens we will still sound like us, it seems!”
Eternal Hails is out now on the following formats:
· Ltd edition deluxe box set containing – Exclusive purple coloured heavyweight vinyl / CD in alternate digisleeve format / cassette tape / 12 page booklet containing a biography surrounding the creation of the album & studio experience / 10″ art print of David Hardy’s Pluto & Charon painting / handwritten letter print from Fenriz
· CD; Black 180g vinyl LP; Various180g coloured vinyl LP; Picture Disc; Digital