Review: To produce an extremity powerful enough for the theatrical tendencies of black metal Gorgoroth introduced a minimalist style driven by responsive melodic peaks to its granular journey through simple blast-response beats at different paces from the funereal to the manic. Its brilliance is the precision of its scarce yet decisive placement of tone and the effect with which within songs the music vary for intensity and economical placement of information to outline the overarching image as a method preferable to pure repetition.
This concision comes with a price: as the elements are in essence few and often deliberately ridiculously simple and similar, at a first listen Gorgoroth seems oblivious: under the screeching voice of a cartoon character a sequence of charactered but seemingly unconnected riffs tell out a story of some kind. Existential tension is resolved in the realization of not narrative but meta-narrative: Gorgoroth have cloaked their postmodern deconstructionism in the camp and ultrathespian theatricalism of the fears of the past, and donning the mantle of evildoer have merited the title through sheer destructiveness toward normal music. Further aesthetic evidence toward this idea can be heard extremely faintly between songs, where some form of sample from an old movie or newsreel plays out music and haunting voices.
2. Crushing the Scepter (Regaining A Lost Dominion)
4. Drømmer om Død
5. Katharinas Bortgang
7. (Under) the Pagan Megalith
8. Måneskyggens Slave
Where the beauty emerges is in the subconscious listening mind where a slowly growing appreciation for the song as an encompassing description of experience and not dogmatic conclusion gives significance to the altered details which beyond symbolism are a manipulation of metaphor, generating a sequence not unlike a strand of DNA: it decodes as it is created, and can only be read as instructions for generation and not a blueprint of the creature itself. All of this moves under a motif of pure blackmetal: the savage rockstar feralism in production and effects, the overblown incomprehensible and abrasive vocals in the upper registers, the pumping post-techno ambient drumbeats and surging tremelo-strummed riffs; the sin of Gorgoroth is the sign of its creation, which is a nihilism that accepts and revels in the "meaninglessness" of its world.
Review: To express further the romanticized moribundity of previous efforts Gorgoroth created an EP of monstrous proportions that despite its brevity expresses a viewfinder into the aging world of black metal, expanding the scope of its composition through complex tracks building conventional music pieces out of unconventional Gorgoroth musical language. At its base remaining the same the music is trancelike repetitive black metal with blasting beats, a screeching dementia on vocals, and pulsing guitar working deliberately simple riffs into evolving motifs in a masterpiece.
1. En Stram Lukt av Kristent Blod (0:20)
2. Bergtrollets Hevn (3:51)
3. Gorgoroth (6:05)
4. Possessed (by Satan) (4:50)
5. Heavens Fall (3:41)
6. Sorg (6:12)
Where their debut ended in a melodic but chilling masterpiece of emotional confrontation Antichrist begins with the howl of a vengeful beast and the rising power of a song with nearly linear percussion under radically shifting, classically oppositional themes illustrating a beauty behind the raging chaos. Melody flickers in the hummingbirdstrum of the guitarist invoking minor notes and the catastrophic tails to extruded phrasing. Drumming gains a more energetic consistency for many of these songs, which range like mocking theatricals from the majestic (Gergtrollets Hevn) to the provocative and satyrical (Possed By Satan) and beyond into a series of melodic, urgent, and violent songs from under the masking of human souls. Of note are the grimly romantic Gorgoroth and the Burzum-esque ambient fade of Sorg, ending the album in obscure darkness.
Amazing riffs integrate these songs by sheer force but the design behind them is more compelling than the easy coincidence of similar black metal stomp rhythms. Nods to Immortal (first theme in Gorgoroth) and Burzum are more than just quotations but innovations using similar techniques. While not entirely compactly integrated or as outrageously evocative as the first album, "Antichrist" devours the weakness setting into black metal through a return to powerful compositional techniques and an unrelenting sense of content customization in each song - a foundational step toward another further greatness.