The Serpents Harvest
Label: Peaceville Records
Darkthrone continued to fire curveballs at their fanbase with 1996's Total Death, expanding the language of black metal to include "the mid-tempo crush." Sounding like it was recorded in an actual studio with upwards of three microphones, the album proved Darkthrone to be unafraid of testing the rigid mores of their scene. Black metal riffology returns for the brilliantly titled "Gather for Attack on the Pearly Gates," but it is Culto and drummer Fenriz's refusal to remain musically sedentary that makes Total Death worthwhile. Ihshan (Emperor) and Satyr (Satyricon) contribute lyrics.