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Darkthrone - Frostland Tapes
When I found out about this release, I was pretty anxious to check out where Darkthrone originally came from. I absolutely loved their last album F.O.A.D. out of 2007, which was a brilliant piece of crustpunk/black-metal. That made me curious about how Darkthrone sounded in their beginning days and how they had evolved in the years. This is the ideal 3-disc boxset to do so. It contains every early demo-recording and some other obscure recordings of the band.
First of all I have to give my compliments to Peaceville. They did an excellent job with this 3-disc boxset. The box comes in a book format, which contains 3 CDs. It also contains a lengthy booklet with old pictures and demo-covers, plus the story of the beginning of Darkthrone from Fenriz and Nocturno Culto themselves.
The first disc contains their very first demo tape Land Of Frost out of 1988, their second demo, A New Dimension, out of ’88 and their demo out of 1989 calledThulcandra. This whole disc has a great nostalgic feel to it. Back in the days, when every band recorded their own demos and spread them worldwide by tapetrading… That’s how you got to know new bands. Buying their mostly primitive sounding demo-tapes. That’s what you get on this disc as well, so don’t expect some fancy studio-recording, but primitive, raw sounding death/black-metal. The Land Of Frost demo consists out of 5 songs, which has a very primitive sound. I actually enjoyed it pretty much. If you take the effort to listen through the rough sound, you can hear a very young band playing some death/black-metal that is heavily influenced by bands as Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, Venom and even crossover hardcore bands like Cryptic Slaughter and Crumbsuckers. At the time of this demo, most of them were just 16/17 years old.
In both the demos that followed, A New Dimension and Thulcandra, You can hear the progress the band made in a short time. The sound of the band got a bit more to the death-metal. Influenced by bands like Death, Possessed and Morbid Angel. One song on the A New Dimension is a very long, epic death/black-metal song that pretty much stands out of its own. With the Thulcandra demo, they attracted attention from record-labels for the very first time.
The second disc contains the demo Cromlech from 1989. This 3 song demo has a pretty professional sound. On this demo the sound even shifted a bit more to death-metal than the previous ones. This demo made Peaceville sign Darkthrone back in ’89. Furthermore we can find on this disc one of the very few live appearances that Darkthrone ever did. Nowadays Darkthrone is a pure studio-band, but in those days they were already known for the fact that they didn’t like to perform on stage. It’s recorded in 1990 somewhere in Denmark. The sound is a bit noisy and raw, but it captured a band with loads of energy. Pretty enjoyable live-recordings.
The third disc perhaps has the most significant recordings of this boxset. It contains the infamous Goatlord rehearsal session recordings. These songs were supposed to be on the second album. The band changed their musical direction and the tapes ended up on the shelves. These recordings are totally instrumental and show us a band that grew very fast in just a few years. Musically this is the best stuff of this boxset. You can hear the progress, because the music became a lot more complex and technical, taking influences from a lot of different elements. I think one of the bigger influences coming across is the complexity of a band like Death. Another influence that took a hold of the band is doom-metal, hence the Autopsy influence. Some parts are going from complex death/black-metal till heavy slow doom parts. It’s a shame that they didn’t release this stuff with proper recordings. In the end Darkthrone became one of the founders of the second wave of black-metal together with Mayhem. If you consider yourself a Death/Black-metal fan and want to find out more about one of the most influential bands, then pick up this box.
Darkthrone - Frostland Tapes
81/1001Details Peaceville Records
Released on Monday Jun 23rd, 2008

Writer @RoyBalowski on Wednesday Aug 13th, 2008

Tags: #Darkthrone
Tracklisting Disc.1

(Land Of Frost demo '88)
01. Land Of Frost
02. Winds Of Triton
03. Forest Of Darkness
04. Odyssey Of Freedom
05. Day Of The Dead

(A New Dimension demo '88)
06. Intro: Twilight Dimension
07. Snowfall

(Thulcandra demo '89)
08. Eon
09. Thulcandra
10. Archipelago
11. Soria Moria


(Cromlech demo '89)
01. The Watchtower
02. Accumulation Of Generalization
03. Sempiternal Past/Presence View Sepulchrality
04. Iconoclasm Sweeps Cappadocia

(Live From Denmark recording '90)
05. Cromlech
06. Sunrise Over Locus Mortis
07. Soulside Journey
08. Accumulation Of Generalization
09. Sempiternal Past/Presence View Sepulchrality
10. Iconoclasm Sweeps Cappadocia
11. Neptune Towers


(Goatlord - rare instrumental version '91)
01. Rex
02. Pure Demoniac Blessing
03. (The)Grimness Of Which Shepherds Mourn
04. Sadomasochistic Rites
05. As Desertshadows
06. In His Lovely Kingdom
07. Black Daimon
08. Toward(s) The Thornfields
09. (Birth Of Evil) Virgin Sin
10. Green Cave Float
11. A Blaze In The Northern Sky
12. Fenriz Drum Solo
Line up Line-up (2008) :

Fenriz - drums, vocals
Nocturno Culto - bass, guitars, vocals