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Great mid-era Gorgoroth - 85%

minorthreat665, January 19th, 2007

This album is a solid black metal release, the perfect bridge between early and modern Gorgoroth. Unlike Pentagram, it moves away from Bathory-inspired and chromatic guitar riffs, and moves more towards the modern style of riffing Gorgoroth has used on their recent albums.

Under the Sign is simply a great album in itself, however, regardless of said significances. "Revelation of Doom" starts with an insane guitar riff accompanied by a metallic-sounding blastbeat that can't be forgotten due to its dissonance and intensity. The first track leads into the sonic assault that doesn't stop until the end of "Profetens Ă…penbaring", a somewhat odd song starting with pagan singing. This shows Gorgoroth's first delving into other genres: folk elements are present.

My main criticism of the album is what occurs after "Profetens Ă…penbaring" and on several parts of the album, which is sustained silence with strange wind noises and odd semi-natural sounds. Although it does set the mood for the music, and it does set up the next song (for example, when "Postludlum" kicks in it about knocks you off your feet), the noise between some tracks is sometimes strange and out of place.

"The Rite of Infernal Invocation" shows Gorgoroth's improving and evolving style. The same amazing melodic elements as displayed on the last track of Pentagram are used here, but with an improved sound and structure. There are only eight actual songs on the album, but the overall quality is very high, and the experimentation still fits quite well with the music.