When most people think of an album, they envision a concrete body of work that represents the personal, musical and emotional development an artist has undergone over a particular period of time. Many musicians themselves describe their songs as snapshots taken over a creative cycle, and the finished product as a sonic photo album. Black metal pioneer and Darkthrone member Fenriz sees his music more like segments of tubing.

"We don't see albums, we see a long tube of songs, and we cut off the tube when it's enough for an album," he told Noisecreep. "We go into the studio many times a year and record two songs every time now," which include one from Fenriz himself and one from bandmate Nocturno Culto.

Darkthrone started working on ideas for their latest black tube, 'Circle of Wagons,' in the summer of 2008. For Fenriz, the process begins by humming a riff into an MP3 recorder and then duplicating the passage on acoustic guitar.

"Since 1998, my belief has been that if something sounds heavy on acoustic, it will sound even heavier with fuzz," he said. "Before I bought the MP3 recorder in 2006, I used to use a tape player."

While many of the songs for 'Circle the Wagons' came naturally, there were frustrations along the way. "The difficulty in writing is usually when I can't find a part to fit into the first or second riff," Fenriz said.

Regardless of how much material he's able to complete, Fenriz said he usually writes for two to three months, rehearses the songs one or two times, and then he hits the studio. "I start recording in take one or sometimes even take three," he said. "It is not important if the take is safe or well played. Nerve and feeling are paramount to that."

Darkthrone self-produced 'Circle the Wagons' at Necrohell II Studios. Illustrator Dennis Dread, whose designs were used for 2007's 'F.O.A.D.' and 2008's 'Dark Thrones and Black Flags,' provided the art work. The album will be released on vinyl on March 8 and on CD on April 6.