"Circle The Wagons", the new album from Norwegian black metal veterans DARKTHRONE, sold around 500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 120 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Circle The Wagons", a creative feast of metal and punk, was initially released on vinyl on March 8 through the Peaceville Records webstore as an exclusive taster for the legions of metal supporters out there who still care about great music delivered the classic way. The vinyl also included a link to download a digital version of the album, which was made available in the regular and special edition CD versions on April 6. The special edition is packaged in a natural rough board slipcased digipack with a 24-page booklet, including an additional band history by Fenriz. This deluxe edition also features an exclusive 12-minute video of the band's inspirations for the album, shot at the mastering house in Oslo.
"Circle the Wagons" was self-recorded at Necrohell II Studios. Artwork for the album comes once again courtesy of Dennis Dread, notable for his talents on previous DARKTHRONE albums, "F.O.A.D." and 2008's "Dark Thrones and Black Flags".
"Circle the Wagons" track listing:
01. Those Treasures Will Never Befall You
02. Running For Borders
03. I Am The Graves Of The 80s
04. Stylized Corpse
05. Circle The Wagons
06. Black Mountain Totem
07. I Am The Working Class
08. Eyes Burst At Dawn
09. Bränn Inte Slottet
In a recent interview with Holland's FaceCulture, DARKTHRONE's Nocturno Culto (real name: Ted Skjellum) stated about the CD, "I think the focus is now more heavy metal and rock and roll, really, and that's a style I like to play on the guitar, and that shows on our new album as well, because my songs on that album are very heavy metal-oriented."
He added, "I think the first recording session we had on this album, I had a really good feeling, as usual, but I think it was something extra. I think this album is… It's not cool to say it's probably some of the best things we did, but I believe so. The songs are strong, and they have a good production, in our point of view.
"We really don't belong in the modern scene; that's why we're kind of outsiders. In our hearts, we still belong to the underground, and that's where we're comfortable."
Regarding the "Circle The Wagons" cover artwork, Nocturno Culto said, "It has an Indian theme, actually; I don't know if any band did that before. Dennis Dread is the American artist doing the front covers for the last three albums, including the new one. Mr. Necro, our kind of guy on the cover, he kind of has Indian things."