I must admit that at first I was not very enthusiastic about this album and I needed several listens to get into it. The album has a great variety and always surprises with new ideas. The Norwegian duo demonstrates a big experience in production and mixing; for example it seems that the solos arise and dissolve naturally in the rhythmic background. Besides, one has the feeling that Fenriz and Nocturno Culto do what they want and that they have a wonderful time in doing so; I venture to say that this is an album full joy. The two guys have paid homage to the bands that they listened to in the '80s (and which in all probability they still listen to) and they did it with a cheerful mood; in this aspect, The Underground Resistance is a unique album. Bathory and Celtic Frost are the main influences. The two Norwegian guys never look for a manneristic beauty and their sound is on the contrary raw, but exactly in this rawness they show their great refinement.
The Underground Resistance consists of six songs for a total playtime of 41:41 minutes; the closer “Leave No Cross Unturned” lasts 13:49 minutes and I think it is the longest song ever composed by Darkthrone. The opening “Dead Early” has a thrash-black riffing and the rough voice of Nocturno Culto. The second song “Valkyrie” opens with an arpeggio and a doomish melody, but it then turns into speed metal and then closes with the initial melody, like in a circle; in this song Fenriz shows all his singing qualities with an excellent performance on clean vocals. The fourth song “The Ones You Left Behind” is the one that best represents the album, Darkthone’s freedom from any mould with a singular singing in unison the riffing and a remarkable falsetto high note by Fenriz. When I hear this song I cannot help but snicker because of the irony that I feel in it.
Regarding the texts, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz devided the task in half. They give us meditative views on the hypocrisy of society (for example in “Early Dead”: “entagled in a web of lies”) or the transience of life (once again in “Dead Early”: “I’m not going to last”). “The Ones You Left Behind” is a spur not to let anybody dominate one’s mind; perhaps the allusion here is to all those powers that are able to subdue the minds of people, such as politics, religion, ideologies, and more. I cannot help but notice a certain humor in the title of the last song “Leave No Cross Unturned”; I think this song is self-ironic in Nocturno Culto’s joking with his own pseudonym, by including in the text the sentence “NOCTURNO OCCULTO!”
Finally, The Underground Resistance is another turning point of this ever evolving band, an album that contains all the influences of the band, a cheerful and purely metal album.
The Underground Resistance was released on February 25, 2013 through Peaceville Records. Recorded in May 2010/March 2012/July 2012. Mastered at Enormous Door Mastering, Austin, TX. Artwork by Jim Fitzpatrick. A music video was made for the song “Lesser Men”.
4.“The Ones You Left Behind”
5.“Come Warfare, the Entire Doom”
6.“Leave No Cross Unturned”
Gylve Fenriz "Kaptein Vom" Nagell
Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Lyrics (track 1, 3, 5)
Drums, Vocals, Bass (track 4), Guitars (solo on track 2), Lyrics (tracks 2, 4, 6)