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Gorgoroth's Masterpiece - 95%

CryOfMankind, November 11th, 2004

Lately Gorgoroth has been in the news quite frequently whether it was their concert in Poland involving sheep heads on stakes, blood covering the stage and 4 nude men and woman that were crucified on the stage, in which the entire band was nearly arrested for, Gaahl’s 18 month prison sentence for “performing satanic rituals and torture lasting for several hours on” a 41 year old man or more recently their show in San Salvador where a special task force had to be brought in after riots broke out during the gig and their music is no less blasphemous or evil than thier acts.

“Under the Sign of Hell” is viewed as Gorgoroth's ‘masterpiece’ by many Gorgoroth fans and for good reasons. The album contains countless riffs that are simply amazing compared to riffs presented by man other black metal bands, “Revelation of Doom” which opens the album shows this, the opening guitar riff is fast and very dark which is perfect for black metal and the riffs only pick up from here. The melodic guitar work in “Funeral Procession” “Profetenes Åpenbaring” and “Blood Stains the Circle” (to name a few) help set this release apart from most black metal releases. Infernus, who plays guitar for the band, also played the bass on all but one song but the bass is nothing special, it fits in with the music well and it gets its job done.

Grim’s drumming on this release could not be better, it has that classic thunka-thunka sound that works perfectly with the music. Some say that Frost was Gorgoroth's best drummer but I diverge from this opinion, as I believe that no one topped Grim’s performance on this album, it is a shame that he left after it was recorded. The albums strongest point is the vocal performance given by Pest, who is believed to have been Gorgoroth's best singer by many. Pest displays the classic black metal singing, which is more of a shrieking, but also adds a little variety to the album with his clean singing, which is very much like the singing done by Fenriz in Isengard, on songs like “Funeral Procession” and “Profetenes Åpenbaring.”

Combined with the line-up on “Under the Sign of Hell” (which has yet to be topped by the band) and the excellent production that makes this album as cold and dark as it is, contributes to helping this album to be the bands best work. Stand out tracks include “Funeral Procession” “Profetenes Åpenbaring” and “Revelation of Doom” which have also become Gorgoroth classics. Great Black Metal album.