This album is straight fucking garbage. I don't care how much the "necro kvlt" insists that this is the most "dreadfully evil" and atmospheric (barf) release ever to have been shat out from within the confinements of poser central (Norway), they'll NEVER be able to convince me that this album is anything but the fly ridden piece of "blackened" shit that it is with its praises being an ongoing exercise in incessant cock gagging. Phlegm covered faces glistening with venereal fulfillment and worship in their eyes.
I was of an apparently small and tiny faction of folks in the world who were not at all impressed with Darkthrone's transparent and treasonous abandonment of their death metal roots after the colossal 'Soulside Journey' beginning with 1992's 'A Blaze in the Northern Sky'. I remember the time like it was yesterday. A friend of mine who published his own zine and had run a metal show on the local college radio station, had given me three Peaceville promo CD's that he had received in the mail. Among them were Autopsy's 'Fiend for Blood, My Dying Bride's 'Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium' and of course Darkthrone's eagerly awaited sophmore album. There's no way that I can fully translate how fucking disappointed I was when the sounds of 'Kathaarian Life Code' came rushing out of the speakers. I kept hoping that this was some joke along the lines of the first notes of Dio's 'Last in Line'. Nope. This sucked. And unbeknownst to me, at the time, this was here to stay.
I will say this in regards to Darkthrone's "transitional album"... I eventually had warmed up to it in recent years as well as the majority of their catalog, mostly due to the fact that I am a Celtic Frost FANATIC of old and can hardly get enough of that vibe, be it from the band themselves or from one of the countless clones of their sound. Unfortunately though, the two albums that followed 'A Blaze...' I have not taken to in the slightest. 'TH' especially. Ironic considering that those are "the hits". A fact that I will never be able to wrap my head around. Not in this life.
I have always been more into doom and/or death metal with doom elements scattered throughout such as the stuff Darkthrone had so perfectly crafted on their debut. When it comes to tinnier, rawer and/or "blacker" sounding metal, I prefer the stuff that I grew up listening to in the 80's, such as Bathory, Hellhammer, Possessed and so on. By the time the Norwegian black metal machine had begun to pick up steam and take off, I was well entrenched in the swamps of death/doom supplied by the likes of Accidental Suicide, Magus, early Cathedral and Thergothon. The tinny and rather weak sound of black metal was not to my liking. It would be many, many years after the fact when I listened with a new pair of ears and begun to realize that it wasn't all that bad... except... for 'Transilvanian Hunger'.
|From the land of ice cream and snow cones|
I think the near mythical proportions of praise and adulation that has long smothered this album adds to my contempt and inability to "join the ranks" of blank eyed worshipers. Simply chilling and tremolo picking one note for several minutes before going to the next note and repeating the same thing does NOT constitute a "genius" endeavor in my mind. I understand the whole "hypnotic drone deal" that so many hip, alternative metal types seem attracted to and I'll admit that a vast majority of funeral doom bands (a genre which I happen to love) border on the grounds of madness with their insistence to draw out a rhythmic pattern well into the realm of absurdity, but again, the weak and tinny sound of the guitars coupled with uninteresting riffs does absolutely zero for me.
It's funny that people cry, piss and moan about the Darkthrone albums that immediately followed TH as in my opinion that is where Darkthrone truly began to cook.
This will always be one of those albums that I just do not get and I'm not worried about it either.