without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I think I can see why Infenrus wanted to redo this again. He was riding on a good wave after the excellent comeback album 'Quantos...', that he possibly felt that the original version of 'Under The Sign...' was a bit too flawed and he wanted to sort smooth out the sharp or uneven edges. I had no issue with the statement on their website when it was announced. I was happy to see that justice was served in that Infernus got rightful ownership of HIS band from greedy, frivolous, shameless Gaahl and King. The band was drifting in an obvious "progressive" direction with those yoyos in the band. They were getting soft and too "overproduced". Then Infernus takes back his band and brings it back to the early, raw, ugly, black side of black metal once again. It was a relief and a success to see Gorgoroth sounding like Gorgoroth again. It was the first time they since the 'Destroyer' album.
Now Infernus is sponsored by Jackson guitars and EVH amps. I'm sure he's foaming at the mouth with the sound of his new toys that he may have thought to himself, "imagine what UTSOH would sound like with this excellent new stuff I have in the studio, new improved guitars, excellent soundsystem, the whole bit." Because let's be real, the early material is underproduced and raw. But this is black metal, the main idea behind it is to sound this way on purpose. At least it used to be back in the 80's and 90's. While that album is everything I described, it was a pure classic because of that, well, also because the songs were great too. But lack of "clean" production is what adds to the feeling and atmosphere of the whole album.
Regain Records initially was supposed to release this I believe on August 27th instead of late Nov., early Dec. Supposedly because of "financial issues" they couldn't mass produce it to the public. I wonder. Maybe they were unimpressed with it. While some people here love to over dramatize things with their reviews this isn't THAT BAD. The drums on the original sounded kind of odd and perhaps a bit too high in the mix. I don't consider myself to be a diehard fan of the band so I don't take this remake as personally as some have. The production on this album is similar to 'Quantos' but lacking in the same aggression as that. The sound here is fine to my ears. It's not underproduced or the playing lacking IMO, but it doesn't improve upon the original version at all. Pest steals the show here and reminds me of why I always liked him more than Gaahl.
'Revelation Of Doom' sounds good here, I don't really have as much a problem as some. Pest sounds the same after almost 15 years of absence which is amazing since vocalists age the worst no matter how vile sounding they can be. 'Krig' as well sounds good. Nothing really different except in the overall feel, 'Profetens Apenbaring' sounds good too. But the mix seems a bit low, as if someone turned down the volume a little. It's missing something, I can say the same for every song here. It's just missing "that element", its like trying to write over your signature and not mess it up but you end up making it look worse than if you just left it alone. This album fit that description to a tee. Nothing was wrong with the first version, in fact it's a classic album. Every musician always complains and has something they wish they could have changed from a past release, especially the ones that everybody loves the most. While it is Infernus' work and he can do whatever the fuck he wants, truth is that work belongs to us too, the fans, the people who adore it. It's an important part of black metal history. One that should never be tampered with.
Asklund's drumming is good, but sounds very tame and lacking a "punch" or "thundering" feel to it. I blame the sterile production for it and mainly what I dislike about this remake most. I wanted to hear a deeper more penetrating sound in the drums here badly. It's practically note for note a carbon copy of the original, but missing some ambient intros in the songs from the original like on 'Profetens Åpenbaring', and the last three and a half minutes of 'The Rite Of Infernal Invocation' is missing completely on the remake. I suppose Infernus doesn't like ambient pieces and just cut the fat off. Don't fuck with a classic, no matter how much you think you can make it better. Because he didn't. It's worth purchasing just as a collector's item since it's very hard to find and to make you appreciate the majesty and greatness of the original version of this album. Non alcoholic beer may be safer and healther for you, but what's the point then?