Gorgoroth
Under the Sign of Hell


5.0
classic

Review

by jk2two USER (15 Reviews)
January 10th, 2010 | 41 replies | 11,533 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gorgoroth's finest moment

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Gorgoroth are one of the pioneering black metal bands of Norway, and perhaps the most consistently and vehemently satanic of that group. Gorgoroth are so evil that they cannot seem to have the same lineup for two albums - sometimes changing lineups within an album. The one stable element has always been guitarist, founding member, and chief songwriter, Infernus. Evolving from a sound that was almost a direct translation of early Bathory, Gorgoroth settled into an original black metal sound by their third album, Under the Sign of Hell. This is easily the most focused album of their early work, and it sadly would never get this focused again.

Infernus spreads his 17th Century-inspired progressions across 9 tracks of classic Norwegian Black Metal. Many of the riffs sound as if Johann Sebastian Bach had originally written them for organ and Infernus merely adapted them for electric guitar. Nowhere is this more apparent than on album standout, Funeral Procession. Deeply gothic and mournful guitars back Pest's distorted screeching. Layered on top of a thunderous blast of double bass, this song brings dark images to mind: a dark graveyard with figures in shadowy cloaks, evil, snow-strewn forests of a forgotten age.

Pest croons a Viking chorus at the opening of the folk-inspired Projetens Upenbaring which settles into a nice plodding groove. Gorgoroth pull the classical undertones of the Antichrist album and bring them to the forefront here. Though the majority of the tracks clock in at a mere 3 or 4 minutes, Gorgoroth still manage to sound quite epic and grand throughout. There are no keyboards to speak of here, but they are not needed.

Album opener Revelation of Doom may scare some off given the overly obnoxious and hotly mixed snare drum, but it is thankfully only severely loud on this track. If one can look beyond that, this is a rather enjoyable song as well. There is but one throw away track, the evil ambience of Postludium seems to disrupt the flow of killer track after killer track, but it is easily skipped past. There is also the matter of 3+ minutes of white noise at the end of the excellent The Rite of Infernal Invocation, but this is easily passed as well.

Discussing further standout tracks would seem futile as Gorgoroth do not falter through the 33 minute running time. The production is far more approachable than many of the black metal from this time period, so even non-diehards should be able to appreciate it. Pest's vocals are fantastic, but one should be warned they are ran through a fair amount of distortion on this album which some find hard to justify. In this case it works just fine. There is also a fair amount of audible bass guitar (played by Infernus) which is unusual for the black metal genre, but Infernus shows that it can be used as harmony and counter melody as effective as a third guitar would be.

It is difficult for one to objectively enjoy Gorgoroth throughout their entire career as they are essentially a different band on each release. With that in mind, Under the Sign of Hell is prime black metal magic with the succinctness of an early Slayer or Bathory album. It stands as the point in this band's career when all of the elements fell into place, and they arrived at a point of brilliance (or is that darkness?) that would remain the example of what all of their other albums hoped to be.



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user ratings (166)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
January 10th 2010



2121 Comments


"Under the Sign of Satan?" in the last paragraph. fix that

good review but imo if there's parts that you need to skip, then it shouldn't be a 5

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2010



18055 Comments


"Gorgoroth are so evil that they cannot seem to have the same lineup for two albums"

That made me laugh, but i'm not really sure why.

Nothing from Gorgoroth should be a 5, but its listenable in a few places. Of Ice and Movement is the only track they've written i'll put on consistently. Good review though, even if i don't completely agree.

Digging: Huerco S - Colonial Patterns

XulOnerom
January 10th 2010



1818 Comments


This is a good album

Wizard
January 10th 2010



19231 Comments


Very nice review jk2two. Happy to see you back around here. Still can't decide what to rate this but it's decent. Please, please do not waste your time with their newest album. Sucks the balls hard!!!!

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

jk2two
January 11th 2010



105 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I justify my rating because this album is so absolutely classic for me. Particularly regarding the early days of NWBM - this sucker is awesome IMHO. Sorry to hear the new one sucks - I had hopes because of the lineup.

*The too evil for a consistent lineup was supposed to be a joke, so I'm glad it made you laugh.

jk2two
January 11th 2010



105 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

BTW - how do I edit a review - can't seem to figure that out.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010



18055 Comments


Well, I couldn't really tell if you were being sincere or if it was an intentional joke, that's why i said i'm not really sure why it made me laugh.

But, i could never really get into Gorgoroth, Gaahl is an idiot and their whole presence just annoys me, but i can understand where you're coming from.

Wizard
January 11th 2010



19231 Comments


jk2two, to edit your review, go into your profile and look underneath your profile pic. Should say "Edit My Reviews" or something like that.

I had hopes because of the lineup.

That's actually what kills the band. Infernus sucks so much and if it was up to Gaahl and King, it would have been up to par with this.

jk2two
January 11th 2010



105 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

But Gaahl and King had nothing to do with this album - this was all Infernus with Pest on Vocals - like the new one.

Wizard
January 12th 2010



19231 Comments


I didn't know that until now. So where the fuck did Infernus go so wrong then? Between this and their new album is like night and day!

eggsvonsatan
January 12th 2010



1087 Comments


The snare on "Revelation of Doom" initially turned me off as well. However, once I got past that I loved the album. Bout time someone reviewed this.

jk2two
January 13th 2010



105 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Went once through on Quantos... and it's not HORRIBLE, but rather underwhelming - I'll need to listen to it for awhile to make a thorough judgement - I can say that Pest's vocals are totally sick and I certainly don't miss Gaahl on the new one.

krig9412
April 27th 2010



794 Comments


The album that inspired my username...

LOL, just kidding, but seriously, this is a fantastic album. And I just love the track Krig, not to mention it just sounds cool.

Hyperbore
November 25th 2010



856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good album, just finished listening to it again. But it is full of weaker, even goofy moments that hurt to hear. That being said, the sense of unbridled fury it displays has rarely, if ever, been matched. The vocal performance is also downright chilling - in the most literal way.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2010



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

show him Immortal and he will surely change his mind

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

dr2den
November 25th 2010



1342 Comments


he went as abbath on halloween

Gorification
November 25th 2010



1124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

such a kvlt album, its infused with deep, dark homosexuality.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2010



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he went as abbath on halloween

post pics so i can make fun of him

Gorification
November 25th 2010



1124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

maximum sin.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2010



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all he has to do is say god is not real and then kill his whole family, problem solved



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