Darkthrone’s “Blaze in the Northern Sky” is definitely one of the original classics of the Norweigen Black Metal movement, and what it occasionally lacks in musical value it makes up in atmosphere and sheer attitude.
This album’s frantic pace and pure malevolency, combined with Mayhem-signature-style black metal riffing remind me of a blizzard, an army of the dark marching, snowy landscapes, mountains, with an authenticity that’s only found in black metal albums from about 1990-94.
The intro is very good and atmospheric, very black metal. A friend of mine said it scared the crap out of them.
“Kathaarian Life Code” is strangely enough the reason why I don’t give this album a perfect rating. I look at other reviews and see them calling ‘the most majestic black metal song’ and such, but I just don’t see anything melodically interesting in it (aside from maybe the ending riff). The slow pace also deflates the intensity.
“In the Shadow of the Horns” is a brilliant song, and surprised me a lot after not being too impressed with the first track. The ending section is one of the most unique, disturbingly perfect pieces of music I’ve heard. Peaceful but in an almost destructive sense, like finding solace in violence, and all the while with a blast beat behind it. Dissonant as hell, too… these chords really SHOULDN’T work.
“Paragon Belial” has the most WICKED black metal riff ever. Some fantastic harmonizing too. Another intense and violent song.
“Where Cold Winds Blow” is kind of Emperor-esque, continues with the intensity and darkness.
“A Blaze in the Northern Sky” is dogmatic and fascist. “The next 1000 years… ARE OURS!!!” followed by an absolutely amazing scream.
“Pagan Winter” Another great song in the same vein.
A black metal classic. Very worth your time.