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Impressive… most impressive - 95%

nibblemark, March 8th, 2009

Although I’ve been a metal fan for a long long time, black metal is something fairly new to me. There was a time when the mere thought of bands like Darkthrone, Mayhem or Satyricon would make me laugh, vomit and laugh again. It was only about five years ago that I became interested in the Norwegian masters of the second wave. Once I understood what it was about and what it tapped into, it possessed me (well, my wallet anyway) and I went on a shopping spree. Of course, Gorgoroth is an essential part of my madness. These naughty Norsemen are currently the most controversial band on the Norwegian scene. Personally I don’t give a demon’s dick.

My only question is – will I enjoy this DVD? Happily the answer is a resounding yes. Hail!

Let’s face it, many black metal DVDs suck rhinoceros balls. They are totally worthless. Quality is garbage and often the band just shows how bad they are at actually playing live. Yeah yeah, I get the part about the magic of bad production value giving that special atmosphere, that feeling, that emotion… I totally get it, that’s why I love this music so much. But copping someone’s bootleg or getting your drunken cousin to record you from the back of a room on his cell phone, and then trying to make money by passing it off as cult necro art… Right. A steaming pile of horseshit is more like it. If that’s your thing, then go to your room and masturbate with your Immortal DVD, cuz you won’t like this one. But if you dig a great stage show, a tight band, a great live sound, a professional mix and great camera angles, and some brutal metal, then you MUST get this DVD.

Gorgoroth are the sonic equivalent of the meat they have in their stage show: heavy, wet and raw. The addition of a second guitarist, Apollyon, rounds out their sound perfectly. He and Infernus sound awesome together. Kvitrafn (gesundheit…) is sufficiently solid on drums, and hey! Guess what? We can actually hear King’s bass. As for Gaahl, well, when he’s off he’s laughable (try to get past the half-hearted squeal he starts the show with), but when he’s on, which is the vast majority of the time, he is very effective in robbing you of a good night’s sleep. He looks about eight feet tall, gaunt like a corpse, and he walks around calmly, like a caged animal, eyes wild and insane, pacing back and forth, waiting for a weakness in the lock on his cage door so he can unleash his full fury.

I love the pure sonic power the band achieves on the Bathory-influenced “Possessed by Satan”, the thrashy “The Rite of Infernal Invocation”, and “Revelation of Doom”, which is an all-time favourite of mine. I was also curious to see if Gaahl could pull off the vocal part to the more classically influenced “Profetens Åpenbaring” which he does so-so, but in the end he does whatever he wants with it. Like it or bleed.

Naked people, sheep heads on poles (Polish poles hehe), various bloody goop, pentagrams (surprise), barb wire fences, controlled ritual chaos and sonic splendour. What’s not to love???