“True Norwegian Black Metal: Live In Grieghallen” by Gorgoroth

Artist: Gorgoroth
Title: “True Norwegian Black Metal: Live In Grieghallen”
Label: Regain Records
Release Date: 6/24/2008
Genre: Black Metal
Rating: 4/5

“Is it live or is it Memorex” was the catch phrase used in a very popular audio tape commercial for years and this is what I thought of when I began listening to the promotional CD for Gorgoroth’s album “True Norwegian Black Metal: Live In Grieghallen”. It’s a release that is supposed to be recorded live in concert but it really comes across as very clean and I didn’t detect any crowd noise so felt it might be live in the studio as opposed to in front of ravenous Black Metal fans. Now, before I get too involved about the glories of the release I must inform the reader that its existence does not come without some controversy and could you expect anything less from a band like Gorgoroth? Here’s what seems to have happened. The tracks were recorded “live” in the studio by the band that featured Gaahl, Infernus and King along with a session drummer Garghuf and when the acrimonious split of the band into warring factions happened, it appears as though Infernus re-recorded all of the bass himself and left only Gaahl’s voice over the tracks. The guitarist chose to leave the band that he formed and yet the group still tours with Gaahl and King in place despite Infernus’ absence. At present these musicians are in a bloody custody battle for the rights to use the name and continue on as Gorgoroth. One cannot blame them for wanting to use the name that they helped to glorify the darker side of things and have them be able to press forward and spread their sinister message all the more. Yet I don’t understand how one can win over the rights of the actual creator of the enterprise because I know if Gene Simmons took the name KISS away that would be that. Anyways, let’s get back to the music on the release.

Whether these songs were done in a studio or elsewhere they totally capture the intensity of what a Gorgoroth show entails and a number of the bands best repertoire is presented to the listener. We get “Revelation Of Doom” and “Possessed (By Satan)” and from beginning to end Gaahl sounds at his evil peak. The album runs a mere twenty nine minutes but still throttles you with eight tunes that will leave you numb in some fashion. The drumming is blistering in terms of the blast beat speeds and this is required for a band like Gorgoroth to do their thing properly. This is definitely something that the bands true fans will want to get their hands on if such a thing will even be possible now. I mentioned earlier that this album comes with some controversy and also from Regain Records but apparently Gaahl and King didn’t want it released and after the promotional editions had gone out the release was halted. As result there is a battle about the future of this release and I hope it does come out because it will otherwise live long and prosper on those peer to peer networks and no one will make any money from it. In the end that cripples the Metal industry much more than fighting about who overdid whose tracks. I am sure some made it to the shops so look around those places that cater to the genre and consider yourself lucky if you snare one. For the time being the rest of us will hope that it comes out after the sides clear up their differences.

Track Listing:
1. Bergtrollets Hevn
2. Destroyer
3. The Rite Of Infernal Invocation
4. Forces Of Satans Storms
5. Possessed (By Satan)
6. Unchain My Heart!!!
7. Profetens Apenbaring
8. Revelation Of Doom

Official Website: www.gorgoroth.info

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