Darkthrone - _Soulside Journey_ / _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_ / _Under a Funeral Moon_ / _Transilvanian Hunger_
(Peaceville re-issue, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (no rating)
For some time now Peaceville has been releasing a series of quality re-issues, all of them coming out in either low-price digipak or slipcase format, and occasionally with some kind of bonus. In the process they have also re-issued a few albums that were perhaps too recent at the time to avoid annoying fans, but apart from that I find Peaceville's recent re-issue policy very commendable -- competing in today's world of readily accessible albums in MP3 format and overpriced commercial releases by offering something extra at a lower price.

These four Darkthrone albums in particular stand out in said series: not only do the digipaks look much more stylish than the original format while retaining their "trueness", these re-issues also come with an exclusive video interview with Fenriz and Nocturno Culto and remastered sound. The interview is divided into four chunks of ten to fourteen minutes each, with each part dedicated to its respective album -- starting off with the old-school Scandinavian death metal of _Soulside Journey_ (1991) and continuing with the genre-defining black metal triumvirate of _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_ (1992), _Under a Funeral Moon_ (1993) and my favourite, _Transilvanian Hunger_ (1994). Bearing in mind the elevated status these albums all enjoy to some extent, I shall not linger on describing the music. Suffice to say the results of the digital remastering are good and unobtrusive: all the records have come out sounding stronger while keeping their original character despite the slightly different mix. (My copy of _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_ carries an annoying background noise, however, and while I initially assumed it was just a faulty promotional disc, I have since been told about an apparently similar problem on a commercial version.)

As for the snowy outdoor interview bonus, despite being filmed with a handheld camera, the recording quality and video encoding are good enough for the band's grim purposes. The interview itself consists of the two aforementioned individuals questioning each other in turns, resulting mostly in monologue; it generally remains interesting, but not overly memorable. For anyone who doesn't already own the original versions of these classics and has an interest in Darkthrone or black metal in general, this is a fine opportunity: the quality packaging, low price, good remastering and added video bonuses should prompt them to dig into their pockets without hesitation and embellish their collection considerably.

Contact: http://www.peaceville.com

(article published 24/7/2003)


CHATS
5/13/2001 D Rocher Darkthrone: Of the Lupine Lords That Lurk in the Shadows
ALBUMS
11/21/2007 J Smit 5 Darkthrone - F.O.A.D.
3/15/2006 J Montague 7.5 Darkthrone - The Cult Is Alive
4/21/2003 J Montague 9 Darkthrone - Hate Them
1/14/2002 A Wee 8 Darkthrone - Plaguewielder
1/10/2001 P Azevedo 9 Darkthrone - Prepare for War
8/12/1996 S Hoeltzel 6 Darkthrone - Total Death
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