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Måneskyggens Slave - 95%

OzzyApu, February 23rd, 2009

I always found this debut more menacing and ominous than the rest. The vocals, especially, were completely indecipherable from the boss, Hat, who displays very tortured and rather high-pitched screeches on all the tracks. It took me some time to really enjoy, but once they settled in, I knew they fit perfectly. “(Under) The Pagan Megalith” has some inconsistency in the vocals (they’re more demonic), but that isn’t a bad thing and it brings a little character out in the range.

This album is relentless – very little breathing room, as you’ll be caught in an all-out assault of terror-induced riffs, banshee-like vocals, and just damn vile drumming. Goat Pervertor sounding like he’s in a chilly room with a chilly drum set, which brings out this intriguing crash to the drums. He's intense on the battery, yet his style is very consistent and appropriate for the variously paced tunes. I can’t help but think of them as thrash songs with this guy’s style – very dark, intimidating thrash songs. The shortest tracks bring out the best in these qualities, as they offer no mercy. Not the thickest bass sound, which is always a letdown, but that can be overlooked sincethe album is built off of such vicious riffs?

However, the riffs are truly what bring this album to the forefront of second wave black metal. Don’t care much about the bass, since the production value, although very good for the time period, doesn’t give it much room nor power above the drums even to pluck its stuff. Infernus knew how to churn out any melodic, thrashy, crunchy, tremolo-infested riff and, better yet, knew how to make a song comprised of them. This album is built off of this guy’s playing. Whether the malevolently slow “Ritual” or the heavy metal-like “Crushing The Scepter,” and all the way to the folkish “Begravelsnatt” and “Katharinas Bortgang," everyone will find a track on here that'll appeal to them.

Lastly, "Måneskyggens Slave"... That’s all that could have been said. That song and its sinister riffs, treacherous rhythm, and cut-throat vocals by Hat tops anything this band has and will ever record. The true glory that was brought about by this track came at three minutes and three seconds, where the entire tempo completed took a nosedive into the ninth level. All the instruments became twice as hateful and catchy to the point where you realized that this track is the reason why Gorgoroth kicked so much ass. However, that kicking ass part no longer applies these days.