DARKTHRONE's Fenriz is beyond reproach as one of the co-creators of the second wave of black metal, but even with that sort of pedigree in mind one has to admit that his band's output has been diamonds-in-the-rough inconsistent over the last decade. Which is forgivable, I suppose, given the massive, genre-creating impact of black metal pillars A Blaze In The Northern Sky (so kult), Under A Funeral Moon (even kulter) and Transylvanian Hunger (the kultest) during the early '90s. Since then, Darkthrone has strayed from its black metal roots (though Fenriz would probably interject at this point and tell me the first record was death metal, which it was) and has explored punk and straight-ahead metal, both of which hint at the anti-conformist nature of Darkthrone generally. Fenriz's championing of GHOST before that band became huge has, one senses, influenced The Underground Resistance, even if the BLUE OYSTER CULT-isms of Ghost are nowhere to be found here; instead, it manifests itself in the archival metal archetypes of The Underground Resistance, namely NWOBHM and classic thrash, as even this record's cover art will attest. The Underground Resistance is comprised of songs METALLICA could have covered on Garage Days Re-Revisited, which gives one a general impression of where Darkthrone's headspace is at - conceptually and artistically - and, surprisingly, it works, as this LP is well-written and well-executed, Darkthrone having fulfilled its mandate and objectives with vigor, panache and authenticity, this record a true homage to early '80s underground heavy metal, with the 'heavy' added there intentionally. Though a return to form black-metal-ist-krieg album would no doubt be appreciated by fans, one realizes it would be utterly contrived if this is the part of the map that Darkthrone's turntable and headphones call home, for now.