Review Summary: The best in the black metal business make promises of darkness and depravity - and deliver.
A few years ago I was sifting through the metal records at Hollywood’s Amoeba music store, looking at slipknot, five finger death punch, Marilyn Manson cds – all the music I enjoyed as a young’un and still very much enjoy to this day. I then proceeded to head to the back of the shop to the “Black Metal” section – a portion of the shop that has the very same atmosphere as that part of the library you see in all the cliché horror films, you know the part of the library where you can buy the books to raise the dead? Anways.. . I had never heard much black metal before, or had I purchased a black metal record, but I thought it was time to open my mind and my ears to the depravity and beautiful chaos that is black metal. I picked up Gorgoroths “twighlight of the idols…” took it home and popped it into the cd player, and that’s when my fragile little mind melted and poured out of my ears like brain flavoured pink gravy.
Onto the album…
There is a lot of controversy around the King Ov Hell and Gaahl era of Gorgoroth, controversy that sometimes swallows up all the room for discussion of the music itself. So I thought I’d take the time as there was no review for this album, to broadcast my perception of the mighty cold beast that is twighlight of the idols.
The album has a short running time of just over half an hour, and from start to finish is punishingly heavy. That is not to say the album isn’t varied, as it has its moments of sheer black metal speed and brutality (blod og minne) and slower paced doom influenced belters (teeth grinding). The vocals are very enjoyable and are one of the main highlights of the album, Gaahl blesses each track (accept the album closer) with his demonic ear-piercing shrieks about the darkness within man, and within nature, you know, family friendly stuff.
The music is predominantly written by King Ov hell, this is the factor that divides fans, as some say that King’s music is bland paint by numbers black metal, I however must strongly disagree as I feel that King’s music captures the essence of black metal in its coldest and purest form, and in the process makes the music very captivating and dare I say it… catchy. Infernus’s shredding is as vile and potent as ever, shining particularly on the track “exit – through carved stones” the guitar is very quirky on this cut and will keep most of your focus for its hypnotic 6 minute length. The albums production is less raw than pervious Gorgoroth efforts, however I feel this was a positive move as in this case it has added to the atmosphere and many layers of guitar and bass as opposed to sucked the black metal magic from the record, something of which has unfortunately happned to many bands of late (I’m looking at you, Satyricon) listening to the album was an incredible experience, and it kick-started my now unhealthy obsession with the colourful and creative world of black metal. The albums highlight is of course the finisher, “Of ice and movement…” this piece of music is sheer blistering terror, accompanied by icy riffs and haunting lyrics. It isn’t the anthem of the apocalypse, but it may be the melody for aftermath when all light in the world has faded.
I feel that this record, even with the hindsight of having now owned and listened to the entire Gorgoroth discography, is by far their strongest and most consistent work to date, providing a very captivating chills and thrills experience for black metallers and metalheads in general, twilight of the idols is a journey I recommend all to take, I feel you won’t be disappointed.
- Audible thundering bass (an enjoyable rarity in black metal)
- Excellent song writing and vocals
- An atmosphere of sheer satanic terror
- Memorable songs that stay in your head without sacrificing their black metal purity
- The last 30 second album closer is utterly pointless.
- I feel the album is too short, and finishes at a point where it would’ve been great to hear just a few more pieces of music.
Go ahead and listen to twilight of the idols and form your own opinion, whether it be loved or loathed, it’s an album to remember.