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Industrial Black Metal tendencies but still RAW... - 70%

Str8Hate, March 31st, 2006

I have something to confess before writing this review: Only after I had already listened to all Gorgoroth albums (...and after falling in love with them ) did I opt for acquiring Gaahlskagg's album "Erotic Funeral". I just found myself thirsty for more raw/primitive Norwegian Black Metal, preferably one that came from Bergen because that's exactly where all the Black Metal "giants" had emerged from. And when I found out that Gaahlskagg is a side project of Gaahl, the vocalist of Gorgoroth, I knew I had to check it out.

So when I acquired the album and was about to listen to it I had my expectations high. I was waiting for all hell to break loose (something that is reminiscent of Gorgoroth albums) the moment I popped in the CD but instead I was greeted by the first track's eerie industrial sounds that kept repeating and accelerating. But soon I was compensated by the second track "Skullfuck" which is exactly what I had been asking for. Raw, brutal, and demonic. Ghaal stretches his vocal screeching to its limits on this song. And you thought the screech on the first seconds of "Procreating Satan" was something? It's nothing compared to what Ghaal pulls off on "Skullfuck". The third track - even though under 2 minutes - still was enough to quench my thrist for the raw BM sound. The fourth and fifth tracks were short (one-minute only!) industrial sounds which DID NOT change my mood, assuming this is what they were set out to do. I can't see the purpose of placing them in such order. The sixth track (probably the highlight of the album and my personal favorite) "Great Joy" which is definitely true Norwegian Black Metal the way it was meant to be. I mean this track could've easily fitted in any of the old-school bands albums in the early 90's for its rawness and rythms. The seventh track "I Am Sin" starts with an interesting guitar solo courtesy of Skagg's skills, and soon the song kicks off with a old-school riff but it remains on a mid-tempo throughout and never gets fast in the beat department. The eighth track "Come To My Kingdom" is a very slow yet eerily dark song. There's nothing in it that even relates to Black Metal and after listening to it for five times in a row I concluded that it's related to sex. The ninth track is another boring industrial-sounding track that's under 2 minutes. The next couple of tracks are enjoyable but add nothing special to the album. Track 12 titled "In Memory Of.." is a completey silent 1 minute track. Nothing is to be heard here but silence. No comment. The final track is five minutes of dark and demonic industrial sounds that dance in your ears relentlessly. Again, you wonder if this is supposed to change your mood or prepare it for the next track. But what next track?

The laydown on Gaahlskagg is that they play raw old-school black metal with some industrial tendencies. I've read on an interview with Ghaal (posted on Tartarean Desire Webzine), that Ghaal was working on a side project which has nothing to do with Black Metal but is more "chauvinistic music" where we "more natural sounds" are used. He said that it will be some kind of ritual music in a Norse way. He wasn't referring to Gaahlskagg at the time but I think this explains the mysterious industrial sounds which probably comprised half of the album "Erotic Funeral".

This album is not for every Black Metal fan, let alone other metallers. If you're a fan of Gorgoroth or Nattefrost then you should probably check this out. I have a strong feeling that Gaahlskagg's next album will be more solid and mature, but I wouldn't expect it any time soon when Gorgoroth are busy trying to release their new spell to the world "Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam" ...(can't fucking wait!) and while Ghaal is even busier trying to clear his name in Norwegian courts from a torture/assault charge placed against him.

Originality 10
Musicianship 20
Songwriting 15
Production 15
Lyrics 10
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