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I really started getting into black metal about eight years too late. Back in 2003, I first started exploring the genre with the then-recent releases from Darkthrone, Immortal, and finally these Norwegian fuckos. Like any literate metal fan with access to the Internet, I was intrigued by the bands and characters the scene had to offer. In many cases, the individuals involved were criminals, to be quite frank, and Gorgoroth was no exception. I remember reading about their escapades and somewhat shocking live shows and decided that I absolutely had to hear the band. The only album I could find was not “Pentagram” or (the original, obviously) “Under the sign of hell”. It was this.
This album isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not that good. The production sounds fantastic, especially for a so-called “traditional” black metal album from one of the genre’s forefathers. The guitar sound, to this day, is one of my favorite sounds ever simply because of the powerful, bone-crunching tone complete with the perfect mix of gain and clarity. The bass is clearly present and actually adds a strong bottom end to many of the more plodding riffs that you’re going to find. Gaahl (whether you think he’s a nincompoop or not) sounds amazing.
The bottom is that even though this album has it’s moments (like the killer “Exit – through carved stones”), it’s just not very good and not very enjoyable. There aren’t very many moments I would call catchy, and nothing makes you want to keep coming back to listen to it again and again. In my opinion, the only way a band with this much ability could create something this pedestrian is if it was suffering from problems within.
This was the album where Gorgoroth obviously got stuck in a rut. They had clearly lost their fastball and seemed content with mediocrity. There were probably good reasons for it too. The band wasn’t cooperating with one another for whatever reason, as evidenced by Tormenter leaving the band a year prior in 2002 (only to rejoin in 2008), stating that he and King were butting heads. Infernus and Tormenter were also working on a side project, Orcustus, which may or may not have impacted their focus on Gorgoroth. I don’t know. For whatever reason, “Twilight” just never felt like it had the passion needed to create a top-notch black metal record.
Is this album one you don’t ever need to hear? No. If nothing else, like I said, “Exit” is a pretty excellent mid-paced black metal song with a good, catchy groove and a good atmosphere. Sadly, nothing else really sticks. It falls victim to being just another black metal album by a band who was once one of the genre’s biggest badasses.
Written for globaldomination.se