I’d heard about Darkthrone and since I quite like some black metal I figured they would be a band worth looking at. If someone had told me before I bought this album that it was straight up speed with intentionally poor production I’d have probably passed it up. My taste in black metal these days tends to be bands like Ulver or Burzum who create epic soundscapes with synths, acoustic guitars and even some clean vocals whilst still maintaining the traditional black metal sound of gritty distorted guitars and screaching vocals. However, its a very good thing I took a chance with this album because although I hate the notion of bands who are “true”, its Darkthrone’s “trueness” that makes this album work.For starters, there is something here that cannot be obtained through a proper studio recording – atmosphere. In true black metal style, the album was recorded on a 4 track. A mere 1 track for the drums. However, this dirty and ridiculously minimalistic, uh… approach to recording has left Transylvanian Hunger sounding dark, viscious, cold and, dare I say it, evil. Its something alot of bands have attempted to mimic, but came off sounding like a bunch of goons in a garage trying to be ‘true’ (which is somewhat bizarrely accurate).If this minimalist recording wasn’t enough, take a look at the minimalist playing. No synths. No acoustic guitars. Little breakdowns. No solos. Most of these songs don’t even have a proper introduction. The music is straight-ahead, no-holds-barred black metal.Those of you looking for something with subtlety, sophistication, catchyness or melody go elsewhere. This is black metal at its coldest, darkest most extreme level, yet done well enough to carry it off. Not essential listening in my opinion (though I’m sure others will disagree), but well worth a look.