Yatra‘s 2018 début album Death Ritual (Grimoire Records), rather than being a “grower”, receded in appeal due to the unflinching harshness of their slow, Doom-laden sound and the voice of Dana Helmuth, which sounds as if Gaahl had been gargling on hop-bombs. There were flickers of invention in the Maryland trio’s sound, however, and these are further explored in follow-up Blood of the Night (STB Records). Continue reading
The realm of Black Metal is often noted for it’s colourful, yet usually monochrome, characters, and definitely one of the most infamous is the iconoclastic and enigmatic Gaahl, former frontman of Gorogorth, Trelldom, Godseed. An obvious showcase for Gaahls considerable vocal talents Gaahls Wyrd Debut, Gastir – Ghosts Invited (Season of Mist) is an extremely potent album and well worth a listen. Continue reading
Long in the making, the highly anticipated debut album of Gaahl’s Wyrd, fronted by iconic black metal artist Gaahl (Godseed, Gorgoroth, Wardruna) is finally releasing in 2019 via Season of Mist. Watch a short teaser trailer for the album, created by Aimed & Framed, and hear a snippet of new music too. Continue reading
Black metal legend Gaahl (a.k.a. Kristian Espedal) will host a wine symposium next month. Gaahl will lead “An Introduction To Natural Wine With Kristian ‘GAAHL’ Espedal” presented by Sponfest & Old Empire at TT Liquor in London. Best known as the lead singer of legendary Norwegian band Gorgoroth, God Seed, Gaahl’s Wyrd, and a member of Wardruna, will lead a discussion and tasting born from his passion for wine. Continue reading
So, we’re the Ghost Cult, and they’re a cvlt festival in Bergen ‘The Cradle Of Black Metal’, Norway. It’s a match made in heaven. It’s a solid swipe to the right, and it brings the promise of a romantic walk down that left hand path. OK, enough now. I mean, according to a pilot study conducted by famous Vilayanur Ramachandran there’s potential readers out there suffering from what is known as ‘metaphor blindness’. Keeping it simple: we found ourselves at one of Norway’s hottest underground metal festivals at the very last weekend of August, for four days of a full à la carte metal menu.
Celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend in Bergen NO, the Beyond The Gates Festival brings the best in underground Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Thrash, Occult and Heavy Metal. Headliners include Venom Inc, featuring Abbadon and Mantas from the legendary Venom, Deströyer 666, and Gaahl’s (Gorgoroth, Wardruna) new band, Gaahls WYRD. Consisting of Trelldom material only, the Gaahl has commented “Many of these songs, from frontman Gaahl’s first ever black metal band, have never been played live before, so this will be a unique and unforgettable event.”
You can get tickets for the weekend at this link:
Beyond The Gates Festival -Full Line-up:
Venom Inc (UK)
Deströyer 666 (AU)
Gaahls WYRD performing Trelldom (N)
Infernal War (PL)
Secrets of the Moon (D)
Magister Templi (N)
Black Anvil (US)
Spirit Cabinet (NL)
Saturnalia Temple (S)
Ritual Death (N)
Black Magic (N)
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most controversial and iconic bands in the Norwegian black metal scene, for many years the extracurricular activities of Gorgoroth members eclipsed the music being recorded. We had the over-the-top blasphemy of the infamous Warsaw gig of 2004, complete with nude crucified models and sheep heads on spikes, the rape allegations levelled at founding member Infernus in 2006, then the schism a year later which saw imposing frontman Gaahl and songwriter/bassist King ov Hell fail in their attempt to wrest control of the band from Infernus.
Thankfully all these distractions appear to be at an end, although Infernus has been unable to hold onto a stable line-up. Ninth full-length studio effort Instinctus Bestialis (Soulseller), originally recorded in 2013, has finally been released with former Obituary member Frank Watkins (Bøddel) and Thomas Asklund returning on bass and drums, and newbie Atteringer stepping up to the mic. So, after all the drama of the past decade, has the six year wait since 2009’s Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt (Regain) been worth it?
Upon pressing play, it’s instantly apparent that the band’s trademark blasting ferocity has not been reined in one iota. The vicious, clipped riffing and light speed blastbeats of ‘Radix Malorum’ will quite simply pin your ears back. The same can be said of next track ‘Dionysian Rite’ with Infernus doubling-up furiously and one of the three (yes, three) hired lead guitarists adding slick pinch harmonics to proceedings. The breakdown is suitably sinister with Atteringer intoning “Intoxication!” like a deranged, drunken cult leader. ‘Ad Omnipotens Aeterne Diabolus’ starts off slowly and mournfully, playing around with different tempos and ideas including some vaguely Dissection tasting guitar lines.
While the band more or less perfected their style several years ago, somewhere between 2000’s Incipit Satan and 2003’s Twilight of the Idols (both Nuclear Blast), it’s evident that Infernus and his acolytes have plenty more to offer. The naked aggressiveness of the riffing could still blast all the snow off a Norwegian mountain-top with ease and the overriding feeling of being repeatedly pounded by the hammer of Satan is something that you can only get with a Gorgoroth album, and Instinctus Bestialis is no exception. The death metal that infects ‘Come Night’ and ‘Rage in His Light’ are welcome additions that prevent things from being too one-dimensional, with the fantastic solo in the latter raising the bar again.
One noticeable change from previous albums is the vocal style of Atteringer. Opting for a low-pitched growl instead of the high pitched shrieks and rasps favoured by previous vocalists Hat and Pest, his low, unhurried intonations lend proceedings a darker air, especially in the slower moments which allow the tension to build once more. The production is crisp, ensuring all instruments are heard, although the sheer prominence of the guitars and relentless drums in the mix at times threaten to turn things into a stew, but this is thankfully dodged.
Hopefully now the music will be all that matters, and with Instinctus Bestialis, Gorgoroth have re-established their position as standard bearers of the Norwegian second wave.
True Satanic Black Metal has never felt so alive.