ALBUM REVIEW: Darkthrone – Eternal Hails

If you can rely on one thing it’s that legendary Norwegian twosome Darkthrone will continue to not give a flying fig about convention or what people think about them until the day they die. No live shows since 1996, an early decisive leap from death metal to black metal, a total lack of adherence to any kind of rule book, and a succession of albums which basically read as unadulterated love letters dedicated to the music on which they grew up. If you don’t get Darkthrone by now then you never will.

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Darkthrone Announces New Album “Eternal Hails” – Due Out This Summer

Darkthrone.- photo credit Ester Segarra


Darkthrone has announced their new album to drop this summer, dubbed Eternal Hails from their label Peaceville on June 25th, 2021. Although we don’t have new music yet, this is one of the years’ highly-anticipated releases on the strength of their stellar career and banger of a recent album in 2019’s Old Star (also Peaceville). New music and full pre-orders should follow soon, but you can pre-order the digital version now at their Bandcamp. Check out the artwork and the full tracklisting below.

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Darkthrone – Old Star


This review was brought to you by many things, but mainly sleep deprivation. It seems the new Darkthrone album, Old Star (Peaceville), is such an objet désiré that it could only be reviewed via a stream released the day before the album hits the shops. So, if I start weeping, and cross-reference any talking squirrels, take some comfort that I am doing all this for you. Continue reading

A Darker Place – Thomas Bergli of Sarke

sarke band 2

Originally envisioned as a one man project, and brought to life by a team of who’s who names in black metal, (Nocturno Culto, Steinar Gundersen, Cyrus, Sarke, Asgeir Mickelson, Anders Hunstad) Sarke formed in 2009. After a series of increasingly impressive album, the band has delivered their magnum opus in Aruagint (Metal Blade/Indie Recordings). Ghost Cult scribe Caitlin Smith caught up with mastermind Thomas Bergli, a.k.a.Sarke himself, to discuss the new album, the evolution of the group into a full band and much more.

You’ve got a very different sound. Can you take us through some of the inspirations on the album?

We do our own thing always. That’s why its difficult to compare us to other bands. I am inspired by a lot of bands from black,death,speed and doom metal to rock. I am also inspired by paintings and dark lyrics.

What is the meaning behind the name Aruagint?

Aruagint is a self-made word and for me it means a pathway, door, gate into a darker place.

sarke album cover


Are there any lyrical themes running through this album?

No, its a different story to each text. In the lyrics we deal with dark fantasy, horror, crazy people and fiction.

The cover art is really minimalistic, but at the same time haunting. Can you tell us a little about it?

All covers we have are very basic. Pure and raw. I like the new cover and layout. Asgeir deals with all the layout and he found a creative soul that has done the drawing for this album.

Did you have a set idea musically for this album or is it something that evolved naturally between all the band members?

We all make the songs by ourselves. For this new album, I did eight and Asgeir one. Asgeir has been in total control over his own songs. My idea was to go back to the first album again, but also to keep the best from the second album. Try to keep the Sarke style, but also to evolve and be better in everything.

You say that Aruagint is recorded in an ‘old fashioned way.’ Can you tell us a little about this?

We use a lot of old guitars, amps, boxes from the 70s and even the 60s. We don’t copy riffs or use trigger on the drums and stuff like that. I want the sound and feeling like you are at a Sarke rehearsal. For me if things are to perfect it can be a bit boring. Maybe hard for some people to understand that, but that’s the way I feel.

sarke band

Sarke also started out as a one-man project. Why did you decide to bring other members in on the project? We have had two albums and you have started playing live shows since then. What made you change your mind?

My first idea was just to record a solo album. The album did well and both people and the record company was asking for live shows. I agreed and had to put a live line-up together. After some shows the record company wanted me to release a new album. I didn’t want a new solo album, so I used my live line-up to be a band, so we could record the new album as a band. That also worked out good, so now we have a third album out.

So many members of the band have been in pioneering bands previously, and you have obviously tried to create something different with this album. Some people say that the metal scene has never been more stagnant. What is your opinion on this?

I always have my own vision how I want the music to sound. I never try to copy the sound of other bands. With Sarke we always do our own thing and own sound. It’s not many bands that sounds like Sarke. I don’t know if the scene has stagnated or not, I don’t follow the scene that much to have an opinion.

Sarke on Facebook

Caitlin Smith