Darkthrone – Ravishing Grimness (1999)

Superb but somewhat uneventful mid-career album from the black metal legends. It is, admittedly, perhaps easy to tune out if listening to Darkthrone’s records chronologically. By the time you’ve gotten through Goatlord and Total Death (neither of which are dreadful, just a bit of a drop off in quality), albums like Ravishing Grimness, Plaguewielder and Hate Them start to blur into one.

But is it really fair to judge Darkthrone on “It’s Not As Good As Transilvanian Hunger Therfore It’s Not Good”? I don’t think so, because, if this were any other band, perhaps even a Nocturno Culto side project – anything that didn’t carry the Darkthrone name – then I firmly believe this would have been far better received; praised, even.

The production on Ravishing Grimness is fairly clean (by Darkthrone standards) but the music does not suffer for it. The riffs have room to breathe and unfold, which is what you want for lengthy tracks like this. Honestly, there are some great moments here, including “The Claws Of Time” which I think is my favourite from this record.

As others have already said, don’t write this one off.

Re-issue art – slightly better than the OG, I think.