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Friday, April 20, 2012

Gorgoroth:"Antichrist"(1996)

     I am going to be going back and reviewing some of the most pivotal of the early Black Metal releases, and I figured no better place to start than the mighty Gorgoroth's masterpiece, "Antichrist". This record has been listed or called a full album, but a meager 24 minutes, and 6 tracks, I will only refer to it an EP. Most BM enthusiasts call "Pentagram" and "Under The Sign Of Hell" the best releases from Gorgoroth, and I have no problem with that. They both are fantastic records, but this one just captures the evil, Black Metal essence that I love. All true BM fans will tell you about the "atmosphere", and to most of us that is why we are attracted to the music in the first place. If you are not a fan, it would be hard to tell you what we mean. But the closest feeling to it would be that of a really scary and atmospheric Horror film that makes the hair on your neck stand on end. This is what proper BM does to us. An evil atmospheric aura that just pours out of the speaker and takes you over until the record is done. If it is a proper and fantastic atmospheric BM record, it might stick with you for days.

     So on to "Antichrist", since it is such a short record, I will discuss each song as to have a better understanding of this masterpiece. The first "track" , if you can call it that is just an intro of sorts."En Stram Lukt av Kristent Blod" is only 20 seconds of some eerie noise, and some screaming. You don't have much time to study it, or get a proper feeling from it, but you know something is about to blast you. That song is called "Bergtrollets Hevn" and is as close to a "hit" song as Gorgoroth will have. It is usually still played at their concerts to this day. It is a fast to mid tempo basher, that sounds a little like Bathory in parts, but when it hits the balls to the wall speed sections, it sounds like no one else. It is a battle song if there ever were one, and would be great in a film like 300 or Pathfinder. On this record there are 2 vocalists Hat and Pest. Hat(Norwegian for hate, so we will forgive him for that) was the original vocalist and left while they were recording it. So new singer Pest was recruited midway through and he sings on a few of the tracks, sad but they did not list who sings who? Most fans can tell though, as both singers(screechers) are pretty distinctive. The third track is named after themselves "Gorgoroth" and is one of my favorite songs by the band ever, it's a shame they never play it live, and most fans don't give it props.It is a slow and very atmospheric song, totally fucking eerie, the bass line also played by main man and guitarist Infernus is mournful, it stands out greatly in a genre that likes to bury the bass altogether. There is an amazing part where the music slows down, and Pest sings(yes, actually sings) very depressing and clean style, and it to this day gets to me. The last portion of this epic song speeds up a great deal, and there is an amazing solo, something else you don't hear to much of in BM. If people wanted to hear some real True Norwegian Black Metal, I would definitely play this track for them.

    Now on to side 2(I am reviewing from the vinyl release), and the last 3 songs. Next up is "Possessed(By Satan), it starts with a real simple 2 chord headbanging beat, and then to an awesome "gallop" drumbeat, so perfect for headbanging. People who think BM is white noise with no groove, should definitely check out this track. Another live staple to this day, so it has definitely held up. Drummer extraordinaire Frost(of Satyricon fame) provides the beats on this album and it helps it so much...total fucking back beat from Satan!! The 5th tack is called "Heavens Fall" and it is another galloping black-thrash beast! It is also an instrumental, which i don't usually like in Black metal, but this is such driving song, who could resist it? Also, Infernus does "heeeeyyyyyy, and an evil laugh' to break up the music. The final track is called "Sorg" and it is my personal favorite, not only Gorgoroth, but my favorite Black Metal song!! I've talked about atmosphere in BM, and boy does this song have it in bucket loads. At over 6 minutes it is an epic by Gorgoroth's standards. The songs starts with the sounds of heavy rain and thunder to lull you in. Then the music starts and it's very slow and heavy riff, with Hat screeching his heart out. The whole song plods(in a good way) along at a slower speed, and he also sings what almost sounds like the chanting you would hear the monks doing. If you close your eyes you can see a dark castle and the fog rolling in like a wall, or something like that, let your mind flow free. I would have to say that this fantastic song is the BM cousin to the song "Black Sabbath". Yes, it's that good! I guess some BM fans are put off by the clean singing in this song, but it only adds to the atmosphere. I guess some people only want blast beats and hyper-speed all the time, hey we have Marduk for that, don't we? I will be posting more classic BM reviews soon.                     Score 9/10

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