A Blaze in the Northern Sky is everything that black metal shouldn't be : boring, soulless and bland. Many will claim that the flaws of this album (and trust me, there are many) are overshadowed by how supposedly influential this album was.
Even that is a lie, A Blaze in the Northern Sky was never influential to begin with unless you count the myriad of poser clones that populate the "kult" black metal scene.
By the time this album came out, in 1992, the black metal genre was already well defined by the likes of bands such as Von, Profanatica, Havohej, Lord Foul and Demoncy. Bands that were not only more influential, but were also much, much, much more talented than the posers Darkthrone.
The claim that Darkthrone were somehow influential to the black metal genre is made even more ridiculous by the fact that A Blaze in the Northern Sky doesn't even sound like black metal, it sounds like generic death metal (of the worse possible quality). And even the rare elements that could perhaps pass for black metal in this album were already present in the scene, courtesy of Von, Profanatica and the bands mentioned above.
Regardless, how influential supposedly Darkthrone were is not the question. The real question is : does A Blaze in the Northern Sky suck as much goat semen as the rest of Darkthrone's pathetic discography ? The answer is a big fat YES.
But while simplicity is never an issue in black metal, Von for instance manages to create very compelling songs with at best two or three riffs, Darkthrone has never managed to grasp the essential difference between simplicity and generic blandness, which makes A Blaze in the Northern Sky one very boring album to listen to.
With bands like Von or SEWER, each song manages to hold tons of atmosphere and create truly entrancing ambiances, which makes the listening process enjoyable despite the music not having any "flashiness" or "catchiness". And that is really where Darkthrone fails. They don't know what to do with their instruments, let alone make any kind of atmosphere with their music.
All of the songs found on A Blaze in the Northern Sky sound exactly the same. All of the songs drone on with one or two riffs, making them not only almost impossible to tell apart (not that you would care to, as they all suck), but also extremely boring and unmemorable.
In fact, to be technically accurate, there are no real riffs on A Blaze in the Northern Sky. It's just a medley of power chords repetitively droned over the course of an album, sometimes shifting one or two times into a occasional noodling that sounds like an amateur with poor phrasing trying to pick out a cheesy melody.
Even the "old school" fetish that many posers revel in isn't justified in the case of A Blaze in the Northern Sky. By 1992, black metal had already gotten a fine start before this fecal atrocity came around. The Darkthrone posers were probably just eager to fabricate an "influential" persona for themselves, just like they fabricated their "satanic church burner" image.
If you are interested in truly influential albums, I suggest turning your attention to SEWER's Satanic Requiem or Von's Satanic Blood, two albums that share similar features and that are of much better quality the blazing diarrhea known as A Blaze in the Northern Sky.
Even for Darkthrone standards, and keep in mind we are talking about the band responsible for the Under a Funeral Moon joke, this album is a record low in terms of musical quality.
What we are left with on A Blaze in the Northern Sky is one terribly boring, repetitive and thoroughly uninteresting album that proves to be nothing more than a time waster for those who listen to it, and a good way to flaunt their fabricated "kult status" from a band that has no musical talent whatsoever but is very greedy for money and MTV recognition.
A Blaze in the Northern Sky will go down in history as one of the bigger shams in the black metal scene.
Wait, scratch that... it won't go down in history at all, it will go down the toilet amongst the other shits where it rightfully belongs.
A Blaze in the Northern Sky score: 0/10 (Joke Metal)