Mini reviews: Darkthrone - Aorlhac - Greta van Fleet - Abstract Void

By Enrico Spinelli

I confess that my relationship with Darkthrone was interrupted after the first 5 albums, for a perfect summa of the "black dimension" of the group and, at least 4, essential. The positive feedback and the beautiful cover nevertheless convinced me to try their latest release. I must say that I was largely satisfied with it even though I realize that things have changed a lot: the rhythms are more cadenced, almost obsessive, and the icy vocals are a distant memory. It remains a sparse production, as I like it, and a good taste for dark atmospheres; I miss the chill on me and the shivers that the shouted voice of Nocturno Culto unleashed, but the years pass for everyone and in any case, there is still a lot of class.

My first time with the French Aorlhac in 2018 and I had the opportunity to appreciate their very personal black metal, atmospheric, epic, characterized by a skillful alternation between screams and clean voices in rocky compositions but at the same time full of tempo changes and never boring. All the characteristics that I had appreciated then are sublimated and accentuated in this new record, ideal for all lovers of the most epic black and Dissection. And congratulations to "Esacteurs de l'Ombre", a French label, to make us know bands like Aorlhac.

I confess I have long ignored Greta Van Fleet, following the rumor that they were a commercial derivative of Led Zeppelin. Fortunately, the small discography allowed me to catch up in a short time and I was able to appreciate the evolution of these guys up to this record, already beautiful in the packaging, certainly more mature and with interesting progressive hues; the voice oscillates a lot between Robert Plant and Geddy Lee, but it is pleasant as well as the variety of the compositions. Perhaps a scissor kick of about ten minutes would have given greater immediacy, but there is plenty of fun and involvement, and who cares if they are little or nothing original.

Stop everyone, we have geniuses here! For some time I had accepted the idea of ​​listening to this work, whose cover vaguely recalls Urania's novels, but only today I have decided to immerse myself in what I do not hesitate to define as a bizarre and fascinating experience.

Imagine joining two worlds opposite each other, nothing exceptional, I know, has already been done (think of Death metal with Jazz), but here we are talking about the combination of the least commercial genre in the world, black metal and... the synth-pop of the 80s!!! That's right, starting to listen you will be immediately projected into that dimension made of vintage disco dance sounds, before screaming vocals enter the background, all without distorting the harmony of the whole. The result is an initially unsettling listening but which in the long run proves to be extremely suggestive, thanks also to a limited duration (just 36 minutes) which effectively stems the risk of repetition and monotony.
A listening certainly recommended to all those who love to experiment, even in the extreme field.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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