Darkthrone's 17th album, Old Star, approaches. Drummer and songwriter Fenriz boasted about the riff quality of Old Star when the record was announced and he wasn't lying. Get your first taste with the lead single "The Hardship of the Scots," which can be heard below.

The song opens with an earworm of a riff, one that is dangerously close to AC/DC's "Let Me Put My Love Into You," but with a colder, Norwegian metallic crunch. Soaked in pure dread, "The Hardship of the Scots" is doom-heavy like a cross between Celtic Frost and Autopsy.

Fenriz compared the song to a couple other acts in a lengthy statement, which reads,

There really isn’t just ONE song that can represent this album, "The Hardship of the Scots" was my song and although we also wanted one of Ted's songs to preview the album Ted took one for the team and we chose my song! His songs are somewhat faster with more black metal in them but still has slow thrash and doom, my song here seems to start with an 'Invasion of Your Privacy' Ratt-era riff or perhaps one from 'The Ultimate Sin' by Ozzy Osbourne, but when I had bicycled my guitar from the Bombshelter [rehearsal space] and sat down on the porch to strum it, the fact is that (as far as I remember) this entire "The Hardship of the Scots" track was done in an hour and I remember texting Ted about it. Ted had just been around to collect loads of vinyl I was giving to him. Anyway, so as usual I didn't have an elaborate scheme as to what the riffs where coming from, but like last album’s preview song I can tell you what it sounds like to me. This doesn't mean I was inspired by what it sounds like, okay? So riff two has both normal doom and some evil death/black notes in the second part. Then there's the break to make the song more linear (old '80s underground trick I used on the last album and this album) and then a riff emerges which I guess I would like to sound like that awesome break riff in an INFERNÖ track called "Thrash Metal Dogs of Hell." [The] 1:50 [minute mark] out in that track is one of my fave slow thrash metal riffs EVER and it kind of reminds me of first Exodus too. But my riff kinda went even slower and may remind more of a Celtic Frost tempo. I think it's a splendid break and riff anyway and suddenly while I was playing my guitar, I came up with this final riff part which is not as primitive as we are used to but rather sounds like some more epic 20-year-old Enslaved or something. Anyway, that's what it sounds like to me NOW but when I was making it, I was just jamming my guitar on the porch after having bicycled it home. SNAKES!!

Old Star will be out on May 31 through Peaceville Records. Pre-order the album here and listen to "The Hardship of the Scots" directly below.

Darkthrone Albums Ranked