Norway’s Darkthrone have given fans a taste of their forthcoming album ‘Old Star’, releasing new track ‘The Hardship Of The Scots’.

The legendary Norwegian longstanding partnership of Fenriz and Ted “Nocturno Culto” Skjellum, return with their first studio album since 2016’s hugely popular ‘Arctic Thunder’, in the shape of Old Star to be released on May 31 via Peaceville Records.

With a mastery and endless dedication to the art of the riff, the Norwegian legends cut through six new epic tracks, taking in the best of the old school of heavy and extreme metal plus a large dose of doom-laden riffing and channelling it through the grime of the underground.

FENRIZ introduces The Hardship Of The Scots: “There really isn’t just ONE song that can represent this album, THE HARDSHIP OF THE SCOTS was my song and although we also wanted one of Ted’s songs to preview the album Ted took one for the team and we chose my song!

“His songs are somewhat faster with more black metal in them but still has slow thrash and doom.

“My song here seems to start with an Invasion Of Your Privacy Ratt-era riff or perhaps one from The Ultimate Sin by Ozzy Osbourne, but when I had bicycled my guitar from the Bombshelter and sat down on the porch to strum it, the fact is that (as far as I remember) this entire The Hardship Of The Scots track was done in an hour and I remember texting Ted about it.

“Ted had just been around to collect loads of vinyl I was giving to him.

“Anyway, so as usual I didn’t have an elaborate scheme as to what the riffs where coming from, but like last album’s preview song I can tell you what it sounds like to me. This doesn’t mean I was inspired by what it sounds like, OK?

“So riff nr two has both normal doom and some evil death/black notes in the second part. Then there’s the break to make the song more linear (old 80s underground trick I used on the last album and this album) and then a riff emerges which I guess I would like to sound like that awesome break riff in an Infernö track called thrash metal dogs of hell.

“1:50 out in that track is one of my fave slow thrash metal riffs ever and it kind of reminds me of first Exodus too. But my riff kinda went even slower and may remind more of a Celtic Frost tempo.

“I think it’s a splendid break and riff anyway and suddenly while I was playing my guitar, I came up with this final riff part which is not as primitive as we are used to but rather sounds like some more epic 20-year-old Enslaved or something.

“Anyway, that’s what it sounds like to me now but when I was making it, I was just jamming my guitar on the porch after having bicycled it home. Snakes!!

“As many have focussed on the 70s sound over the last 20 years, the mix on our new album has ended up being more 80s than ever. The songs are more metal than ever!

“Ted’s songs have alot of black metal in them, faster and slower but also doomier parts and reoccurring parts.

“My songs are more linear written, it’s an ancient 80s underground trick, with breaks, all slow heavy or slow thrash, classic doom or slow death.

Fenriz continues, ‘All in all it is our most 80s album so far and our most metal one to date with drum sound typical for the 80s USA/German market and damned lyrics, which are all written by me.

“We feel that Old Star is the big brother of Artic Thunder – more solid and with even better riffs.”

Old Star was recorded at the band’s Necrohell 2 Studios, with engineering and production duties carried out by vocalist/guitarist Nocturno Culto, complemented with an organic mix courtesy of Sanford Parker (Voivod) at Hypercube Studios, and mastered once more by Jack Control at Enormous Door.

The cover artistry comes courtesy of Chadwick St John, titled “The Shepherd of the Deep”.


1. I Muffle Your Inner Choir

2. The Hardship Of The Scots

3. Old Star

4. Alp Man

5. Duke Of Gloat

6. The Key Is Inside The Wall