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Half Excellent, Half Retarded! - 66%

Jiri777, July 13th, 2009

This album is very strange. Unlike most mediocre albums, “Under the Sign of Hell” is either really good or really bad. Most mediocre albums are not exciting through and through, with an occasional good song, but this album is spilt with greatness and pointlessness.

The first four songs here are sick. After you hear these four songs, you’re definitely thinking masterpiece. But sadly, after these four the album falls apart.

First, we will discuss the first four songs. “Revelation of Doom” starts off with a bang featuring nasty drums by Grim. Seriously, the drumming on this song is like no other. Killer drum work from the late great, Grim. The song is total chaos, never relenting until the end. Pest’s high pitched screams really suit the music. Simply one of Gorgoroth’s finest. “Krig” is next with amazing guitar work from Infernus. However, if you listen to Enslaved’s “Vetranott”, from their 1994 album “Vikingligr Veldi”, you will hear the same riff played that is featured “Krig.” I don’t know if Infernus meant to do this, but “Vetranott” clearly came out before “Krig.” Anyway, it’s not a bad thing because we now have a much shorter version of the Enslaved classic. “Funeral Procession” is another incredible effort, with nasty riffing and fast drums. “Profetens Apenbaring” is no less than a classic. It starts off with wind blowing leading into marvelous folk baritone vocals from Pest. He sings so well here, and I wish he would do it more. Astounding guitars dominate the song giving it a rather epic feel.

Now, onto the bad half. After a quite stupid instrumental, the next four songs come and by no means do they match up to the first four. Songs like “The Devil is Calling” and “Blood Stains the Circle” are very agonizing to listen to. You find yourself checking the time to get an estimate of when they will end. Horrible songwriting, poor execution and overall pointless songs. “Odeleggelse Om Undergang” and “The Rite of Infernal Invocation” are not as bad as those two, but they are not memorable at all.

This album could have been one of the best but it failed in its second half. I would have given it a 100% if it were an E.P. with the first four songs featured. But because Infernus and the gang got lazy and decided to poison the album with pointless filler songs and it does not make the cut. I bought it, and I suggest you do too, but I only listen to the first four songs typically and skip the rest. You will probably find yourself doing that as well.