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Originally released back in 1994, 'Pentagram' is the first album by Norwegian black metal heavyweights Gorgoroth. It's an incredibly raw album with a distinctly thrashy edge to it, as evidenced by the fact that the whole thing is just under half an hour long.
That said, the album is as bouncy and mid-paced as often as it is rattling along at breakneck speed, and what impresses is just how many ideas and styles are fitten into its slim runtime. One moment the album has the punky, chugging grooves of old Darkthrone and Celtic Frost, the next it plunges into epic, melancoly folksy, melodicisms, and then pummelling, monolithic and utterly despondent passages in the vein of newer Arckanum the next, whilst another track reminds of the minimalist depressive BM stylings of French band Mourning Dawn.
The vocals are one-dimensional rasped croaks, yet somehow they fit in nicely alongside the ultra-stripped down riffs and harsh, fuzzy production, and everything just comes together nicely, the album being at once intensely abrasive yet also catchy and rich in strangled melody.
1. Begravelsesnatt 02:33
2. Crushing the Scepter (Regaining a Lost Dominion) 03:23
3. Ritual 03:52
4. Drőmmer Om Dőd 03:45
5. Katharinas Bortgang 04:03
6. Huldrelokk 01:52
7. (Under) The Pagan Megalith 03:54
8. Maaneskyggens Slave 05:55
Total playing time 29:17
Norwegian band Gorgoroth's career has been more turbulent than most, thanks to legal disputes and a seemingly constantly revolving door of members, but their discography consistently satisfies black metal fans, though in varying degrees depending on their more specific orientation. As a fan of dingy, raw black metal with subtle melodic elements, it's their early albums that appeal to me the most for their Darkthrone style, as Infernus unleashes a barrage of catchy guitar riffs over the muted drums of Goat Pervertor, while Hat screeches like an animal. Gotta love these nihilistic kids.
These songs are excellent in their simplicity, never over-running and concentrating on memorability and energy. The entire album lasts for less than half an hour, but there are no filler tracks, and there's even a degree of variation from the more melodic 'Drømmer om Død' to the constantly changing tempos of '(Under) the Pagan Megalith' and 'Ritual.'
2. Crushing the Scepter (Regaining a Lost Dominion)
4. Drømmer om Død
5. Katharinas Bortgang
7. (Under) the Pagan Megalith
8. Måneskyggens Slave
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Crushing the Scepter (Regaining a Lost Dominion)
4 Drõmmer Om Dõd
5 Katharinas Bortgang
7 (Under) The Pagan Megalith
8 Maaneskyggens Slave