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Class 6(66)

Gorgoroth: Antichrist

25/09/12  ||  BamaHammer

Introduction

Gorgoroth is a band with a history of a lot of problems. Problems like which band member owns the rights to the name, which band member is facing incarceration, and what is the sexual orientation of a particular vocalist. The bottom line is that all of that dysfunction has vomited a fairly potent concoction of a black metal band onto this world, and their 1996 opus “Antichrist” serves as one of the finer examples of classic black metal out there.

Songwriting

8,5. It’s extremely short (under 30 minutes), but everything is raw and simple and ultimately very catchy. It’s not often that you find yourself whistling a black metal tune from 1996 to yourself while you’re at work or walking down the street or whatever, but this album has plenty of riffs and melodies that will stick with you for a long time. I know the four middle tracks come to mind with their memorable nuances. Not only that, but Gorgoroth even manages to find ways to make major chords sound evil and grvm. Pretty solid all around.

Production

8,5. It’s nowhere near as ugly many other BM releases from the mid-90s, but it still maintains its “nekro” sound. Far and away, my favorite part of the album’s sound is the bass (which I’ll expand on later). It’s audible and punchy and even provides a bottom end for a style of metal that neglects that part of the sound spectrum. I do wish that the vocals were a touch higher in the mix and the guitar tone was a bit ballsier, but that’s really nitpicking. Overall, “Antichrist” is a good example of the fine balance between sounding kvlt and sounding good.

Guitars

8. Ice cold. There’s a static quality that surrounds them at times as well, and I’m not just talking about your standard distortion. They sound almost splattery
from time to time, almost like something you may hear in doom metal, especially during up-tempo palm-muting riffs. The attack is sometimes lacking, but Infernus more than makes up for it with his songwriting. Basically, he just takes the paradigms of what we’ve come to know as black metal guitar and makes everything really catchy and enjoyable. I can’t complain too much about anything in this department other than the occasional annoying sound/tone issue.

Vocals

7. Interestingly enough, the vocals on “Antichrist” are handled by not one but two vocalists. Hat and Pest split time 50/50 on the album, but I’ll be honest. There’s not even enough difference between them to matter. They both employ a higher-pitched hiss/croak that fits this brand of raw evil quite perfectly. I do wish they were higher in the mix, though, because they do sound genuinely evil. However, they’re so low that they tend to get so lost in all the other noise that they go unnoticed and unappreciated.

Bass

9. I guess you could say that this is almost the “Saltrubbed eyes” of black metal. Infernus’ bass is always pretty audible in the mix, and it goes without saying that this comes as a surprise for a black metal release. But it’s not just the fact that you can actually hear the fucken thing, but everything that it’s doing is actually pretty excellent. You get neat little runs and fills here and there that really spice up. You definitely get the feeling that the parts were done by a guy who is guitarist by trade. The first 90 seconds of the song “Gorgoroth” is an epic piece of black metal bassery.

Drums

8. For me, Frost is one of the finest black metal drummers out there. He’s blazingly fast and has an obvious technical proficiency, but he’s also fairly recognizable at times, which is always a cool characteristic for any drummer, much less one who specializes in black metal. This was the only Gorgoroth that featured Frosty on the skins, so needless to say, this was as good as drumming ever got for the band.

Lyrics

N/A. Gorgoroth is renown for not printing lyrics, and probably for good reason. The attempts at deciphering the ones from this album sound like your pretty basic Christ-hating, church-burning drivel. Whatever.

Cover art

3. With art like this, it could have been called “Pentagram II: The Wrath of Infernus” and nobody would have ever known the difference. Personally, I think it’s lame. In an era that gave us some of the classic covers of the genre, they could have done a little better, surely. Bonus points though for looking like a phallus arising from above the word “Antichrist” from a distance though.

Logo

4,5. It says Gorgoroth. It’s an old English script font. It’s iconic. It’s also lame as fvck. There I said it.

Booklet

2,5. Black metal is known for it’s promotional packaging and supplementary materials that come with each release. This record is an excellent example of that.

Overall and ending rant

There you have it. “Antichrist” is not the best example of raw black metal hatred in its purest form, but it is a fantastic album, and it deserves to be revered with the same respect as many of the other black metal classics of the mid-90s. Even though this is one of the shortest albums in my collection, it packs an immense punch into that half hour. So, don thy corpsepaint and press play.

9

  • Information
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: Malicious Records
  • Website: http://www.gorgoroth.info/
  • Band
  • Hat: vocals (tracks 2, 3, 6)
  • Pest: vocals (tracks 1, 4, 5)
  • Infernus: guitars, bass
  • Frost: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. En Stram Lukt av Kristent Blod
  • 02. Bergtrollets Hevn
  • 03. Gorgoroth
  • 04. Possessed (By Satan)
  • 05. Heavens Fall
  • 06. Sorg