I was surprised to see that Gorgoroth wern't even on this site! So I decided to add them and review thier classic first album.
For me, Pentagram is one of those albums that when you first hear it you think "What is this crap"". But like Immortal's Pure Holocaust, the more I listened, the more it grew on me, until it became one of my favourite albums. It would be easy to be write off Gorgoroth as "just another black metal band singing about satan and how evil they are", as they adopt the typical BM image: huge spikes protruding from thier arms, swinging around replica medieval weapons for photo shoots, and band members recently being on trial for gang rape and illegal weapon possession. It's a shame, because in my opinion, Gorgoroth's first 2 CDs (Antichrist, Pentagram) stand high above any other BM releases.
The great thing about this album is how every riff is where it should be. Sometimes I'll find myself listening to some other bands songs, really enjoying the music, but then thinking "hmmm... I don't really like this riff! What where they thinking!". Not with these songs though. The album is definately raw BM, but retains a strong sense of melody throughout, and has a surprisingly clear prodution (compared to most other BM albums from the same period). The thing I really love about this CD is how the riffs are incredibly simple but incredibly effective.
Bergravelsesnatt - 5/5
The album opens with a galloping riff, propelled by simple pounding drums. Then a typical black metal riff enters with blast beats: which is when we hear Hat's insane screeching for the first time. He sounds like man possessed. In my opinion, simply the most malevolent vocals ever recorded. The song alternates between the intro riff and the black metal verse riff, before a final chromatic riff enters and repeats to the end of the song. 3 simple riffs: maximum effect.
Crushing The Scepter (Regaining A Lost Dominion) - 5/5
This song opens with some slow heavy riffs. I notice here how good drumming isn't about being technical, it's about playing what's needed for the song. By metal standards Goatpervertor is a very average drummer, but his simple, pounding style really benefits the music. From the opening slower riffs, to the faster riffs with blast beast, to the final melodic riff, the song flows really well.
Ritual - 5/5
Originally titled "Sexual Bloodgargling" on the first demo. The song opens with a melodic riff before slowing right down into the verse with some plodding chords and drums. Breaking up the verse and the following section is an atmospheric riff with some simple drum fills, which highlights the excellent dynamics of the music. Then it speeds up into typical black metal territory, with Hat screaming something about satan, and I think I can make out the line "you will suffer!!!". One of the best songs.
Drommer Om Dod - 4.5/5
This is one my least favourite songs on the album, but it's by no means bad. The first couple of riffs have a kind of eerie-ness about them. This is a slow-midpaced song that reminds me you don't have to play fast and tune down to be heavy.
Katharinas Bortgang - 4.5/5
This would have got a 5/5, except that the verse riff really is below the standard of the rest of the album. However, the rest of the song is excellent. It revolves around fast but very melodic riffs, blast beats, and Hat's demonic vocals.
Huldrelokk - 5/5
1:54 of awesomely epic-sounding black metal riffage. The drums blast along relentlessly, carrying Infernus' excellently crafted riffs forward. Full of atmosphere.
(Under) The Pagan Megalith - 4/5
My other least favourite song, but still excellent. Again this is because the first few riffs are not as well written, and for the first time on the album, it seems a bit repetitive. The song picks up at 1:30, with a kickass blackened thrash riff. Hat's vocals are again menacing and ferocious, and unlike the other songs, the riffs are less melodic and simply bludgeon the listener. The song is saved by pure aggression.
Maaneskyggens Slave - 5/5
The most epic song on the album, in terms of length and melodies. The song opens with two amazing melodic riffs, followed by a much slower section before the main theme comes in. The rest of the song is mostly centered around a simple chord progression, but played at different tempos with different lead guitar melodies over the top. A masterpeice.