DARKTHRONE – PANZERFAUST

Darkthrone - Panzerfaust - Front
record rules

Peaceville (original 1995, reissue 2010)

Big Daddy could go on and on here about how Panzerfaust is a fucking awesome and totally underrated Darkthrone album—every word of it would be true—but that’s beside the point of this double-disc reissue. Or at least beside the point of its second disc, which is the entire album with drummer/lyricist Fenriz talking over it, director’s commentary-style. Which would be a terrible fucking idea if it were just about anyone else talking over just about any other album. But if you’re like us, you’re happy as a pig in shit to listen to 35 minutes of Fenriz talking about his job at the post office, never mind the creation of one of his finest accomplishments, an album he refers to as “the peak of Darkthrone’s insanity.” Released in June of ’95, about 16 months after the Hall of Fame classic Transilvanian Hunger, Panzerfaust was a continuation of its predecessor in almost every way. Unstoppable black metal riffs? Check. Power-necro four-track production? Obviously. The occasional lyric by Burzum’s Varg Vikernes? Yep, right there on “Quintessence.” But Fenriz sums it up best: “Let’s say you’re on the treadmill for 10 minutes and that’s the Transilvanian Hunger album, but when you push the stop button, you still have to walk for a little bit because there’s still something left. Two fast tracks on Panzerfaust is sort of like that excess inspiration I had for Transilvanian Hunger.”

Fenriz also cites Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales, Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark and Vader’s Necrolust demo as key riff inspirations. But the most salient fact here is that Fenriz actually played all the instruments on this monstrous slab before turning it over to Ted “Nocturno Culto” Skjellum for vocal annihilation. And what a performance it is. Again, we’ll defer to Fenriz: “The vocals for this album [are] way more barbaric and fucked-up than anything Ted ever did. They’re the most barbaric vocals I have ever heard. Shocking… shocking!”

Only slightly less shocking is that Fenriz would agree to record a commentary disc in the first place. But then, he and Ted have loosened up considerably over the last few years, offering increasingly candid peeks behind their once somewhat-iron curtain. (In fact, Fenriz recently recoded a commentary disc for Peaceville’s reissue of Isengard’s Høstmørke album as well.) Bring on the rest of the fucking catalog, already. —J. Bennett

  • Crentist

    Big Daddy. Awesome.

  • Deadlikewinter

    the best Darkthrone album!