When I first heard this album I hated it, apart from one song, Open The Gates. I didn't listen to it for ages, but recently I've been listening to it quite a lot, and it is actually a decent album. But that's the problem, it's just slightly above average, and not a masterpiece like thier first 3 CDs (Pentagram, Antichrist, Under The Sign Of Hell). Especially after an absolutely awesome CD like UNTSOH, this is very dissappointing.
Maybe it's the fact that the music on here wasn't actually written by members of Gorgoroth, but by two guys called Tiegs and Telnes. I have no idea who these people are. Even stranger is that Pest performs vocals on the majority of tracks, but his picture isn't in the insert (He is credited for vocals in the track credits though). The album has a load of different musicians performing the various tracks, and unless otherwise mentioned in the individual track, Vrolok plays drums.
Destroyer - 3.5/5
When I first heard the intro to this, it sounded like total chaos. The vocals, drums and guitar come crashing in right from the start, with lots of vocal overdubs, which really distorts the entire sound so you can't really hear what the guitar is doing or what is been said. It's actually just one guitar riff though, and a pretty poor one at that. After this intro section all the intruments stop, and then the guitar picks out a kind of thrash influenced riff, which is pretty cool. The verse uses a pretty similar riff to this, and the song alternates between the two thrasy riffs, until the intro riff comes back in. The song succeeds in creating a feeling of destruction and chaos, as the title suggests. Average song overall. Drums are by a drum program.
Open The Gates - 5/5
This is easily my favourite song. The riffs are the best on the album. Hands down. The song has a really strong atmosphere throughout and uses very similar melodic riffs, which strangely I don't find repetitive. After about 2 minutes there is a break with really cool heavily distorted bassline near the end. Pest handles the vocals on this one, and he easily displays that he had the best vocals in BM (just my opinion). His high pitched snarl just kicks ass, but he also sings in a clean almost operatic voice for about 4 seconds, which really stands out. This song has some really dark, epic melodies (which you really have to listen to hear, due to the VERY distorted sound).
The Devil, The Sinner And His Journey - 3.5/5
This song is really badly distorted, even by BM standards. I would have given it a higher rating as the riffs are pretty good, but you really can't hear them well at all, due to the distortion and use of pointless effects. I listened to this in the car the other day and ALL I could hear was distorted sounds, it was terrible. The thing that stands out in this song is the lead riff that enters at about 25 seconds and is repeated later in the song. Frost plays session drums for this track and some guy called T.Reaper handles the vocals.
Om Kristen Og Jodisk Tru - 4/5
This song opens with a really good, kind of melodic riff with some excellent vocals by Pest. What makes me remember this song is the amazing slow melodic riff at 0:43. This is one my favourite riffs: really atmospheric and sounds great with Pest's screams over the top of it.
Pa Slagmark Langt Mot Nord - 4/5
Another pretty good track. Opens with a typical BM riff with blast beats which leads into a more melodic riff. Once again Pest's vocals destroy everything in thier path, and he demonstrates his amazing clean voice again, although very breifly. The guitar break part way through uses some notes that sound really off, but somehow it works. Infernus plays drums here and does a surprisingly solid job.
Blodoffer - 1/5
Uh oh. One thing I value when listening to an album is consistency, and this just brings the whole rating thing down. Infernus does the guitar, drums, bass, effects and vocals here. His vocals are crap and the effects just make the terrible guitar riffs even worse. Best forget this song.
The Virginborn - 4.5/5
This is more like it. Really slow black metal with plodding drums and darkly melodic guitars, made all more enjoyable thanks to another excellent performance from Pest. This and Open The Gates are the only songs with good riffs ALL the way through. The song has a really strong atmosphere throughout. Great stuff.
Slottet I Det Fjerne (Darkthrone cover) - 2/5
This would have been a decent cover, but the vocals have a crappy effect on them and they're way too high in the mix. There are no track credits for this song, but I think Gaahl sings on here and he just spoils it. I havn't included this tracks rating in the overall album rating because it's a cover.