Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. Between the mishaps that befell Gorgoroth 's unstable lineup on Antichrist and DestroyerI do have to give the guys credit for rolling with the punches.
Following their debut Pentagram an album I enjoyed well enough the roster of that album began to disintegrate. Bassist Samoth chose and rightly so to focus on the infinitely superior Emperorwhile vocalist Hat was partially replaced by Pest of Obtained Enslavement. This effectively left Infernus alone to pick up the pieces and take it from there. While Under the Sign of Hell sounds like a band that finally stabilized, Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist sounds like a clearinghouse album by a quasi-band that doesn't know whether they're going to be around next week.
Where Pentagram offered a pretty firm albeit derivative sense of style throughout, the 25 minute Antichrist sounds like a collection of songs that may as well have been done by different bands.
The six minute "Sorg" even sounds like they're getting doomy and hymnal with their Satanism, and-- wait for it there's even a twenty second intro with the sort of generic ooky-spooky wind sample you've heard on a thousand other albums.
Gorgoroth would employ these slight distinctions from song Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist song on Under the Sign of Hell. However, the variety on Antichrist doesn't sound like they're pushing their envelope so much as they're not really sure what their envelope is to begin with. It's clear that Infernus' heart lies with the more melody-inclined tracks, if the standout quality of "Gorgoroth" and "Sorg" have anything to say about it.
As the sole songwriter this time around, he's easily the highlight on Antichrist. Part of his stardom here probably rests with the fact that the replacement musicians leave less of an impact as the crew on Pentagram. I've never cared much about Frost as a drummer, and the production here is much more typical for the Second Wave than the eerily tweaky aura on Pentagram.
Hat and Pest switch up vocal duties on the album, and I can't say either leaves much of an impression. I had thought Hat had a distinctive-sounding Grimes - Go (File) on Pentagrambut it's clear that was felt mostly due to their steely production. For Antichristthe slight details that made Gorgoroth 's debut stand out even slightly have been taken away and replaced with uncertainty.
Antichrist Spring - The Saddest Landscape - All Is Apologized For. All Is Forgiven (All Media) lacks flow and momentum, but that's not to say the individual songs aren't solid.
As I mentioned, "Gorgoroth" has a powerful Windir vibe to it, and "Sorg" sounds like Infernus was pushing his composition chops further a step. The quality is here, but lacking coherence even at such a pathetic length, it's a long way to drop for a band who started off sounding like they might have something going for them.
Gorgoroth's sophomore effort is definitely a source of mixed opinions among black metal enthusiasts. While most of them regard Pentagram and Under the Sign of Hell as masterpieces, this one is loved by some and hated by others, and it's easy to see why: the style of this album is stuck between the other 2 mentioned ones.
Sometimes it goes for the rawness and bleak atmosphere of the first album Possessed by Satan and sometimes for the more melodic approach of the following one Gorgorothwhich makes the album feel uncohesive as a whole having 2 different vocalists doesn't help. And this, together with its very short length, gives it a feel of a compilation of leftover tracks, instead of a full-lenght main effort similar to future release Destroyer. Still, I think this album is a lot stronger than Destroyer and deserves some praise.
The first thing to notice is that all of the tracks were composed by guitarist Infernus, while more Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist half of the tracks in the debut were composed by then-drummer Goat Pervertor. In the debut you can clearly see the difference between the very harsh style of Goat Pervertor's songs like Katharinas Bortgang and the more melodic and melancholic feel of the Infernus-penned songs like Ritual and Crushing a Scepter. In this album it's the latter style that dominates, as Infernus still couldn't emulate Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist well the harshness of songs like Katharinas Bortgang by himself in this period, which may be a reason for many fans finding this album boring.
After a very useless intro, the first song is Bergtrollets Hevn and I see it as wasted potential: it does have some nice melodic riffs with a slightly Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist feel, but they are low in the mix and hard to discern under the drums and distortion. It's an okay song but nothing spectacular, and I think it could have been a lot better with different production.
Then comes my favorite song on the album and one of my favorites Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist the band discography : Gorgoroth. This is the one in which Infernus fully displays his composing skills.
It starts with a very melodic and melancholic tremolo riff with a beautiful viking-ish melody playing on the bass guitar very audible by the way before turning into a savage black metal attack with Hat's demonic vocals. By the end of the song you get some great melancholic clean vocals, extremely melodic riffing and even a cool solo with a lot of tremolo, of course.
The whole song feels unusually melodic, complex and epic for the band at that time, but I think it's very effective. This is the kind of song you Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist the urge to play when you're outside in a dark cold night, which is exactly my definition of a great black metal track. After that there's a big change: the next song "Possessed by Satan " is a very primitive and minimalist one in comparision to the one before. I guess this is Infernus trying to emulate the rawer style of Goat Pervertor's songs in Pentagram, but it doesn't pay off too well.
Instead of feeling harsh and intense, this one is more monotonous and focuses on groove again, unusual for the band and it feels amateur. Even the vocals are not that good I love Pest's vocals in the next album, but here he sounds very weak and frog-like and the little I can make out of the lyrics sounds childish. I won't deny it's a catchy tune, which is probably why it's still part of their live setlist, but it's far from my favorite in this album.
Then comes the mostly instrumental "Heaven's Fall" which returns to the more melodic folk-inspired style of the "Gorgoroth" song. I do enjoy this one a lot, as again it displays some very good melodic riffing from Infernus, though I think it would have worked better with vocals and it frankly doesn't come close to the greatness of Gorgoroth. The album ends with a long slower piece called "Sorg" sorrowand it does live to its name as it's a very sad and depressing tune.
While also an interesting new approach by the band, I can't help but to feel bored by it, it would Long Lost Friend - The Kyteman Orchestra - The Kyteman Orchestra been a nice album closer if it didn't go on for so long.
And so the album ends, and as I said it doesn't feel cohesive, but very messy instead. On the plus side: it has a lot more variation than the debut and Infernus' melodic songwriting really shines on tracks like Gorgoroth and Heavens Fall, on the negative side: Bergtrollets Hevn is mostly ruined by Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist production, Possessed by Satan feels too amateur and Sorg gets boring really quick.
Still, it's an enjoyable album and an essential part of Gorgoroth's discography and norwegian black metal, just not as essential as the albums that came before and after it. For Gorgoroth this was very much My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli - The Very Best Of Frankie Valli black metal because it was at a time before fame, controversy and criminal convictions thus making distinction between the true Gorgoroth fans and those who are drawn Get Through - Casey Veggies - Sleeping In Class it for the rebellious nature.
For this album there was a slight line-up change within the band from their previous album Pentagram. Despite the change, the musicianship is excellent on this album with catchy riffs interesting song structure, as well as having the drums and guitar very tight with each other. The pace of the songs can range from very fast and sadistic to hauntingly slow as seen on Sorrow Sorg.
The one thing that I would say I dislike about this album are the vocals done by Pest. The vocals that Hat provides are excellent chilling, and haunting shrieks that suit the music perfectly, where Pest uses shrieks to some effect. However they can be long and at times even annoying. It may be that Hat predominantly sings on this album and that Pest sounds off beside Hats vocals, but whatever the case that would be my only complaint in terms of musicianship.
My favourite aspect of this album would be the sadistic, Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist and depressing atmosphere it creates amongst combinations of the instruments and effects. In conclusion the album Antichrist is a solid example of musicianship, atmosphere, and song structure which would have me rate it as one of Gorgoroths best albums.
I would highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of early second wave black metal or enjoyed the first Gorgoroth album. This is an essential Gorgoroth release for various reasons, some of them being difficult to explain. The sound can be seen as a natural continuation of Pentagram, but manages to sound quite different at the same time. The primitive, signature production has been retained from the debut, yet has been reinterpreted in a slightly clearer way.
The atmosphere remains intact, but the instruments are given more of an opportunity to stand out. In addition, the songs are more melodic in nature, yet are still just as blistering as ever save for the more chaotic moments of Under the Sign of Hell. In fact, I would safely say Ten Blows To Yo Foe - II S.M.F.
- Death Of A Klansman the five songs on this album showcase some of his best, most unholy riffs ever. The third track, titled Gorgoroth, is a very interesting piece of black metal. Grimly opening with the sound of frigid north winds, the track soon beautifully jumps to life with chilling tremolo riffing that carries on and develops for over a minute. Possessed by Satan Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist forth the catchiest riffs on the album with a thrashiness that reminds me of early Celtic Frost or Bathory.
Heavens Fall is a fairly fast instrumental which displays some great melodies partway in. A burst of thunder marks the beginning Geld Macht Sexy - Bonfire - Freudenfeuer the storm and the church bells warn of the oncoming attack.
But it is too late. A slow-paced, crushing, doom-ish riff carries this atmospheric track, inducing bleak images of frozen Norwegian landscapes. Pest tops of this dark number off with more of his emotional wailing. Everything about this track just drips with the one most evil atmospheres this band has yet to create. To solidify this album as a classic, Frost fan boy alert gives an outstanding drum performance, certainly on par with his work on the early Satyricon albums.
The drum production is excellent, his blastbeats are fierce, and overall he offers a tight foundation for the rest Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist the instruments. This is the last album to feature Hat on vocals, and the first to feature Pest, both of whom share vocal duties on this release. Hat sounds similar to his work on Pentagram, although he seems a bit more coherent, possibly only due to the production.
Pest gives a sickeningly evil performance, although I would say his finest work is on the following Gorgoroth album. Just the Gorgoroth promise: no-bullshit, Christian hating, true Norwegian black metal from start to finish. Compared to Pentagramthis album sucks. The next song suffers the exact same problem, but manages to pick itself up a little bit with a stronger, folk-inducing outro. I dunno, I just found this particular album serving as a low point sandwiched between the debut and Under The Sign Of Hell.
How quaint…. Antichrist is the second full-length album by Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth. And fuck, is it good! It starts off with the coolest intro I think I have ever heard, which sounds like the devil's masturbation itself, and proceeds to pound your ears in Crank this one up, it deserves it.
Let's start off with the guitar work. It is the best thing on this album no surprise there, right, Infernus? It is the perfect blend of brutality, melody, and conception. That is, it delivers the black metal goods with fast picking, hook-line melodies that will drive your head into insanity, and with just the right amount for your ears to bleed to. It's what stood out the most for me on this album. Almost all songs sound fast, and ear-pounding On a side-note, there are some VERY catchy riffs to be found on the album.
The LAST thing you would expect to hear on such a level of hatred, is found in Possessed (By Satan) - Gorgoroth - Antichrist songs, such as "Possessed By Satan ", some parts of "Heavens Fall", and "Sorg" the latter being a very slow, melancholic and just overall eerie sounding atmospheric track.
That, is nowhere NEAR being a bad thing, simply because all tracks sound great. The guitars on this album just feel right, and perfect. The bass definitely has a presence in making this album fit for a Satanic Whatever It Takes - Essra Mohawk - Raindance.
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