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I was a fan of Gorgoroth since the beginning. I mean, I liked the band, not in a hardcore way, I don't think I would even have paid for a show. It was a bit to cacophonic and not tight enough for my own likings, evil is a meaning and noisy music without concept is not evil because it has no meaning. But this...oh my god this...
Where do I begin? Under The Sign of Hell is Gorgoroth's peak and what Gorgoroth always should've sounded like. I don't know if it's the fact that Infernus was teaming up with Pest and Ares instead of Gaahl and King Ov Hell for this album that made it so different, but holy shit, I felt like I was just whacked by a subway wagon and driven straight into hell...it's like an Infernus-fest with Pest on vocal command.
First of all the music. Infernus has all the place he disearves. He runs the show with his guitar. The riffs are long, agressive and not overly complicated , neither overly simple. The guitar sounds very trashy as one of my co-reviewers has pointed out the sound is distorted and has that dirt feeling to it. It's kind of light, without being fluffy, it just feels a tad military. It keeps the listener marching on to the beat of destruction. The guitar of Infernus is the general, I could discourse as much as I want on the drums & bass, but they just follow the orders, they go where Infernus wants them...and thank baphomet for that. Also , another part that I liked were the trashy guitar leaks at the beginning and the end of every song which gave some kind of a cave-like feeling to the album, as if it was recorded on the edge of another world.
Another interesting part of the musical aspect of this album is the electronical approach, as small and parcimonious as it is, it's there and employed very well. The Rite Of Infernal Invocation has a nice long eerie noise-like outro which almost sounds menacing to the listener. Menacing people from ten years back, by the medium of air vibration recorded on cd, that's quite an exploit. Postlidium is another atmospherical song which gives that crazy feeling to the album. Pest's voice in a few songs is also digitally hampered, which creates more evil atmosphere.
As far as the vocal goes. The lyrics are a tad different than the usual Nietzsche preaching, a bit more generic(which where they lost a point here), but Pest's delievery saves the day as, in my opinion his vocal performence is a lot better than Gaahl's even if by black metal standards Gaahl isn't bad. Pest is just that good.
I reviewed this album after the news of Gorgoroth split up, just to remind myself than Infernus on his own might not be a bad thing for extreme music!