Review Summary: Gorgoroth’s fate is decided and Infernus has decided to make the band suck.
All of this recent media frenzy (a media frenzy of sorts for a black metal band) revolving around Norwegian black metal heavyweights over the past two years should have stirred up much interest in the metal community over Gorgoroth’s recent output Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt
. To my dismay, very little was ever hyped about this release and with past albums such as Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam
being the calibre that they were, you would think that black metal fans would be rejoicing for a new album by their heroes from Norway. Finding this on the shelve at the record store was a surprise considering I had no idea they had even reformed, let alone hearing very little in the way of a settlement over rights to the bands name between members Infernus and Gaahl/ King. Despite how the outcome played out, I feel that two original members carrying on this band would have been better than one, allowing for more creativity and perhaps a continuation of sound. Unfortunately, Infernus won and this can be heard throughout the nine mostly boring tracks on Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt
Roger Tiegs a.k.a. Infernus was a competent axeman on previous Gorgoroth albums, but he completely walks the line on this one, teetering between some of his best work to date and an utterly pathetic attempt to master the already terrible black n’roll/ blackened thrash clichés that are currently plaguing black metal. You would think that recruiting some old school practitioners such as Dissection drummer Tomas Asklund and Obituary bassist Frank Watkins a.ka.Bøddel would really make things pop. They simply add little interest to Infernus’s songwriting and instead, we are left with what feels to be half assed attempts to rekindle the past and mix it up with the above mentioned black n’roll/ blackened thrash. As boring as the icy tremolo picked riffs and simple blast beats are, not to mention the crawling melodic moments that go absolutely nowhere, there are still a few standout tracks to be found. “Prayer” pummels the listener while capturing that bleak dissonance found on black metal classics and tops it off with a riff that could have been taken from Storm of the Lights Bane
. Also noteworthy is “Human Sacrifice” with a particularly good lead and a chorus that emphasizes more on the melody by actually incorporating some rather majestic vocals. Saddly, the only good thing that can be said about these two tracks is that the songwriting is above average. Further pouring salt into the wound of their legacy, any grit or grime that was found on previous releases is completely stripped away, thanks to an overly polished production quality by Infernus and Asklund that simply kills any atmospheric vibe. You can argue that Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam
was a lead-up to this polished production, but it just feels like overkill on here.
Infernus is not only dragging Gorgorth into black metal clichés but he’s also destroying any legacy this band had in the Norwegian black metal scene. It’s funny if you look at black metal artists who were jailed and the quality of records that were written while doing their time in the slammer; Varg Vikernes is a good example of this with his hilarious toy piano album entitled Dauði Baldrs
. Infernus wrote this after his release in 2007 and there is no doubt that jail definitely had an effect on his mental state as to what direction Gorgoroth should proceed in. Here’s hoping he realizes that no one is really paying attention anymore and that he retires this band the way they should have been left after all of this debate over rights to the bands name. I suggest he forms a solo project and calls it ‘Infernus’ and not Gorgoroth.