Sound — 10
At first, the low production quality may be a little off-putting, but if you give it a chance, Darkthrone creates one hell of a mood in this album. In a lot of black metal, the tempos are always kept extremely high. This is not the case in this album. The slower parts are actually the most powerful, especially in "The Pagan Winter". The only way I can think of describing the sound is a groovy version of extreme black metal (more like Black Sabbath than Venom or Mayhem). Another great thing about this album is the guitar solos. They not be these crazy fast flashy shreds, but genuinely chill you to the core. One of the most unique musical experiences I've ever had.
Lyrics — 9
What can I say? It's black metal, so the lyrics obviously aren't going consist of this deep love story or anything, they're going to be dark and satanic. Those kinds of lyrics wouldn't fit the extremely dark nature of the album anyway. The lyrics on this album fit it perfectly. They may not be extremely elaborate, but are written great for what it is. Nocturno really delivers on this album, possibly his best work. There's tons of power behind it, and fits the music flawlessly.
Overall Impression — 10
This album stands out from the others. Although the production quality may not have been the greatest, it was mixed very well (unlike some of their others). The darkness of this album is overwhelming, and makes you never want to stop listening. The only complaint I have about it is that there are only 6 tracks. If it were stolen or lost, I would buy it again in a heartbeat. It is the only black metal album that I believe really gives Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" a run for its money. A true essential for any black metal fan's collection.