Darkthrone’s Last Concert: A Night of Unholy Black Metal

Over a quarter-century ago, the halls of Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo bore witness to a defining moment in black metal history: the last live performance of Darkthrone and the first major gig of Satyricon.

Key Takeaways
  • On April 6, 1996, Darkthrone performed their final live concert at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo.
  • The concert was significant for featuring Satyricon’s first major live performance and represented a transitional moment in the Norwegian black metal scene.
  • The event also featured the Swedish band Dissection, highlighting the interconnectedness of Scandinavian black metal.

The Legendary Last Gig

On a memorable Saturday night, April 6, 1996, the halls of Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway, echoed with the raw and intense sounds of Darkthrone. This event, aptly titled “A Night of Unholy Black Metal,” marked a significant moment in the history of black metal music. It wasn’t just any concert; it was Darkthrone’s final live performance.

April 6, 1996, at Rockefeller Music Hall – a date and place etched in black metal history, marking Darkthrone’s final live performance.

The setlist of the night was a compact yet powerful demonstration of Darkthrone’s influential music. It began with an Intro that set the stage for a night of relentless energy. The crowd was then swept into the depths of Darkthrone’s dark, atmospheric sound with Under a Funeral Moon. This track, known for its raw, unpolished aura, captured the essence of true black metal.

As the night progressed, the band plunged into Blackwinged, a song that further intensified the atmosphere with its menacing beats and haunting lyrics. The fervor in the hall grew as they performed Transilvanian Hunger, arguably one of their most iconic tracks. This song, with its hypnotic riffs and grim lyrics, showcased the band’s ability to blend melody with the harshness characteristic of black metal.

The concert reached its climax with In the Shadow of the Horns, a perfect finale that encapsulated the band’s legacy. This song, with its aggressive guitar work and chilling vocals, left the audience in awe, marking an unforgettable end to an era.

A Pivotal Night in Black Metal History

The concert at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo on April 6, 1996, was not only significant for being Darkthrone’s final live performance but also marked a crucial moment in the history of Norwegian black metal. This event was further distinguished by featuring Satyricon in their first major live appearance, a momentous occasion for the band that was rapidly gaining prominence in the black metal scene.

The event symbolized a transition in the Norwegian black metal scene, featuring the final performance of Darkthrone and the significant first major gig of Satyricon.

A highlight of the evening was the unique cross-band collaboration, demonstrating the close-knit nature of the Norwegian black metal community. Satyr, a key member of Satyricon, played bass for Darkthrone during their set. This collaboration between two pivotal figures in the genre underscored the spirit of camaraderie and mutual respect that defined the Norwegian black metal scene at the time.

Moreover, the event was emblematic of a transitional period in Norwegian black metal. The fact that Satyricon, a rising force in the scene, performed their first major show at the same event where Darkthrone bid farewell, symbolized a passing of the torch within the genre. It was a poignant moment, signaling the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Adding to the significance of the night, the Swedish band Dissection also graced the stage, having just returned from a U.S. tour with Morbid Angel and At the Gates. Their participation underscored the interconnectedness of the Scandinavian black metal scenes and the genre’s expansion beyond Norway’s borders. Dissection’s presence, along with the monumental performances of Darkthrone and Satyricon, made this event a gathering of some of the most influential acts in black metal at the time. It wasn’t just a concert; it was a historical moment, celebrating the legacy and future of black metal.