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Our Master’s Return, Praise Satan, Praise Satan - 87%

Five_Nails, December 11th, 2008

Though only being thirty-two minutes long, Gorgoroth’s ‘Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy with Satan)’ is a truly amazing half hour of Norwegian black metal. Beginning with the explosion of sound that is ‘Procreating Satan’, Gorgoroth delivers a carnage-filled blow of Satanic rage. Gaahl’s screeching vocals come over the top of the guitars and drums creating a disturbingly evil ambiance that continues through to the end of the song which goes from a chant of ‘Our Master’s Return, Praise Satan, Praise Satan’ to an eventual devolvement into screeching and a painful halt that makes one wish that the chant would go on forever.

This being my first Gorgoroth release and having no predecessors to compare it to, the experience created is very unique. ‘Proclaiming Mercy-Damaging Instinct of Man’ demonstrates how unique this band is as the songs go from being pure black metal to an almost death metal command to cut flesh deeper and deeper. ‘Cut deeper, cut once again, endless torment, fire, destruction, and war’ are some of the lyrics as the song closes with a great segue into the epic opening of ‘Exit-Through Carved Stones’. This song, played in both the ‘Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey’ and the ‘True Norwegian Black Metal’ documentaries is a black metal epic that creates the torturous and desolate ambiance that Gorgoroth seems to have been going for. Gaahl’s vocals again impress as he holds notes for dozens of seconds throughout every part of the song and the double bass and guitars chug along throughout to create the intended atmosphere.

‘Teeth Grinding’ is a favorite of mine. This song, though slow and dragging, really brings forward the songwriting ability of the band as this song goes from the tortured dream of a meteor-like object falling from the sky to the nightmare of a severed head devouring the remains of an animal or human. The song at three minutes and twenty seconds breaks into a grinding explosion of snare drumming, guitar whining and Gaahl screeching ‘From a distance, from a far, tear my heart out’ to close out the song. The torment displayed in this song breaks, but leaves the lasting impression that even in sleep one cannot escape the torture of human existence.

‘Forces of Satan Storms’ kicks the disc back into gear with the crushing combination of guitars and drums. This song is obviously meant to demonstrate the ability of the guitarist, Infernus, and the drumming ability of Kvitrafn. The song goes from fast pounding to slow whining of both guitar and vocals as Gaahl screeches in the background then kicks into gear again as the drums and guitar explode forward again. This song isn’t the best track on the album but passes. ‘Blod Og Minne’ is a catchy riffed song with great combination of guitar and drums. Gaahls vocals sound less impressive in this one as like in ‘Forces of Satan Storms’ this song is for the guitar and drums to be displayed. About a minute and a half into the song it speeds up then slows into a combination of snare and spoken vocals which continues for about a minute until the main riff of the song comes over the top of the song to dominate the music. It closes with yet another droning ending, but the song in general is a great addition to the track list of this release. ‘Of Ice and Movement’ is the last song on this release and could have been done away with. It is too much like ‘Forces of Satan Storms’ in that the band tries to play as fast as they can without any regard to the music. It is catchy, but its placement at the end of the release is not fitting for the outro which is a kind of organ music score.

In all, this release is amazing, though repetitive in theme and execution at times and is a great demonstration of the musical ability and power of Gorgoroth. The best song on this release would have to be ‘Teeth Grinding’ and the worst would be ‘Of Ice and Movement’ so in effect, the beginning of this release is better than the weak puttering out at the end.