by John Covington
I first heard this new CD on my MP3 player while I was stoking the fire in my home, and it was 13 degrees outside. No lights were on, and no one was around. It felt so right it was wrong. Sometimes I actually do things how they should be done. “Ouantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt” is the long awaited album from the “Infernus-fronted-original”, and now only, Gorgoroth. I’m not going into all the legal crap here about the last few years with the Gorgoroth name. That is a whole separate article that you have probably already read……
QPAST is the eighth studio album from this Black Metal original. Except for Infernus, it is a totally different line up than the last Gorgoroth CD. But conversely, most of the new members have toured or recorded with Gorgoroth in the past, with the exception of Bøddel, who is now taking over the bass duties. It’s still a revolving door of musicians, as it has been since Gorgoroth came into being in 1992. Infernus is the only constant with this band. He is the Captain of this satanic ship.
I honestly was anticipating something different from Gorgoroth since all of the litigation is behind Infernus now. How could a man go through all of that b.s. and it not be apparent in his music? And he delivered. Dare I say this is a more “thoughtful” recording than other efforts? Yes I do. Black Metal followers do not despair. This is still the Gorgoroth that you loved, with all of its claws and fangs intact. It’s just a bit different, and for the better, I think. In “Rebirth”, Infernus, and lead vocalist Pest tell us this is the rebirth of Gorgoroth in a voice that sounds like boiling blood.
The opening song, “Aneuthanasia”, is the most aggressive of the lot. It’s stomping, downbeat, blocky guitar chords mixed with Pest’s staccato vocal delivery give this song an ugly brutality that brought a wicked smile to my face. Where the hell did I put that nail-spiked bat?………
While sounding cliché, this new recording is going more backward than forwards. Back to Black Metal’s roots. Tracks such as “New Breed” and “Human Sacrifice” are cloaked in the influences of the First Wave of Black Metal. You can hear the Bathory and Mercyful Fate hidden in there. It is blended well with a newer sound and approach. And most of the tracks on QPAST are more in the mid-tempo range, with some faster parts and blast beats sprinkled in. With the slower tempos and great production I never wondered what the guitars were doing in any part on the CD. You can really sink you’re teeth into this recording.
The beauty and horror of great Black Metal are captured in “Cleansing Fire.” Sickly layered and intertwined guitars by Infernus make this a stand out track. A lot of things are happening in the background of this disc, or just under the surface of the music. You’ll discover new things through a good pair of headphones.
“Satan Prometheus” is one of the faster tracks on QPAST, but still breaks down to a soaring and epic chorus. Some very tasteful drums going on here, as well as the whole album, courtesy of Tomas Asklund. I can tell he is always playing to the needs of the song and not just to the ego of the musician. And that’s something that I can appreciate about this entire recording. It’s just good song writing and performances. I want to take a shower after hearing Pest’s vocals. I feel like I’ve been splattered with an alien’s black, acid blood. And that’s a good thing.
This is truly one of the best Black Metal albums I’ve heard in a long time. There is no filler, no weaknesses here. It’s kickin’ it Old School, and it’s doing it the right way. If you like Black Metal then you must buy this record. Period.
Gorgoroth Interview with Frank ‘Bøddel’ Watkins is found here.