A relatively unknown member of the cabal of old-school black metal, Gorgoroth make simple but searing melodic blast metal with epic structures and symphonic narration.
flag of Norway Gorgoroth - Pentagram (1993)
Gorgoroth - Antichrist (1995)
Gorgoroth - Destroyer (1998)
Gorgoroth - A Sorcery Written in Blood (1999)
Production: Without the garage flavoring of overpeaked obscurity these production values produce a concrete, vital sound with the distortive flavoring of underground despite basic clarity.

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.


1. Begravelsesnatt
2. Crushing the Scepter (Regaining A Lost Dominion)
3. Ritual
4. Drømmer om Død
5. Katharinas Bortgang
6. Huldrelokk
7. (Under) the Pagan Megalith
8. Måneskyggens Slave
Length: 29:16

pentagram by gorgoroth 1993
Copyright © 1993 Malicious

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.

Production: Reasonable studio production with allowances for noisy nature of the music nonetheless preserving a beautiful clear and rigidly represented guitar tone.

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)
Length: 25:01

gorgoroth's antichrist 1995
Copyright © 1995 Malicious

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.

gorgoroth destroyer 1998 nuclear blast
1. Destroyer
2. Open the Gates
3. The Devil, The Sinner and his Journey
4. Om Kristen og Jodisk Tru
5. Pa Slagmark langt mot Nord
6. Blodoffer
7. The Virginborn
8. Slottet I Det Fjerne (Darkthrone cover)
Length: 37:04
Destroyer (Nuclear Blast, 1998)
In the space after the initial thrust of Norwegian black metal occurred, that the aging process would be apparent was not in doubt but the question of continuation after apocalyptic entry and rise was a nagging concern. Gorgoroth surmount this with a concept piece which seems designed to sound like its namesake, a gigantic machine of death in familiar form, a word violently out of place used in a peaceful context to make an idea seem palatable. Melodic riffs alternate between a quickly-changing form and an extended form in which the basis points of melody are suspended in the long tremelo that sustains notes over distances in which the vocals and drums integrate complex. The ideas as expressed in these riffs are not dissimilar to the first two Gorgoroth albums and are located consistently around basic structural tone centers and avoid the extenuated development in their connection to one another that made earlier Gorgoroth albums listening expeditions. With the technique of enough distortion enwrapping each riff, a chromatic cloud of melodic resonance is created in which the riff is visualized by the listener as the sound between the root tones and the ambient background, as reflective of itself in a the depolarization of tones and subtones. Objective achieved: this release excels as the expanding repertoire of an early success in an obscure art form in the dying days of its formative impulse.
gorgoroth a sorcery written in blood 1994 infernus
1. Gathered At Blakulla (intro)
2. Sexual Bloodgargling
3. (Under) The Pagan Megalith
4. Katharinas Bortgang
5. Maaneskuggens Slave
Length: 18:39
A Sorcery Written in Blood (1999)
Three demo tracks echo ideas from the first album almost identically in playing and two tracks following are if not identical to those on the first album, nearly exact matches. As a result this provides either an insight into early vocal and drum technique for a completist, or for someone inexperienced in the art of Gorgoroth an insightful view into the classic epic creations of this band. Slippery fingers move relationships in melody either barely at all, in nihilistic and morbid rhythmic short motion variations, or in longer escalating loops through a scalar architecture which rewards an internal harmony moving two ways simultaneously. Hypnotically vigilant yet even and absolutist drumming carries this lilting wave of reflecting opacity toward its conclusion in vigor and might. Formed from the most basic elements, Gorgoroth is mastery of emotion in sound.
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