Gorgoroth, "Incipit Satan"
As most of you probably know, Gorgoroth became well known in the black metal scene through its consistent releases of mid-tempo, old school black metal. Gorgoroth solidified their presence through excellent previous releases such as "Under the Sign of Hell", "Antichrist" or "A Sorcery written in Blood". However, no one expected the band to change their black metal approach in such a strange way.
I'm confident that Gorgoroth knew when they recorded "Incipit Satan" that it will make heads turn towards this new musical change from their already well-established formula. The first track, "Incipit Satan," explodes on your ear drums with blisteringly fast drumming, razor sharp riffing, and Satanic crooning. It sets the starting mood, and gives a hint of what to expect, even to the point where one may even think that it's your standard black metal album.
However, there is a lot of variety throughout the 41 minutes of this eight track release, and instead of turning it into a blast-beat orgy, Gorgoroth changes the recipe from the first track. The second track, "A World to Win," is very melodic and probably my favorite from the entire album. I will even go as far as saying its "catchy", I'll just hope the black metal purists won't have a heart attack. Next comes "Litani 'til Satan," a track with a slow tempo and grim chanting vocals. The fourth track, and one of the highlights of this album is "Unchain My Heart," a definite keeper. There's even an ambient piece included, "Will to Power," which is quite unusual, even more so for a band with established reputation of true black metal like Gorgoroth. Nevertheless it's a very interesting and chilling piece with sample loops and electronic noises. On the last track, "When Love Rages Wild in my Heart," you can hear clean vocals, which have a gothic rock feeling to them.
It's probably not an album which you will like from first listen, as it definitely takes some time to get used to, but once you do, you'll find a well-crafted and well-produced piece of dark art. With this installment, Gorgoroth shows that the stale black metal sound can become very varied and sometimes even catchy. It's a headbanging fest from start to finish, and if you want to experience something different and have a peek at this new perspective, give "Incipit Satan" a few listens and you should fall under the spell of this intricate and intelligent work.
A World to Win