Disclaimer: Whenever a reviewer has no idea how to end a review - a more common occurrence than the reader might think - the reviewer is forced to employ the cheapest of literary tricks: the disengage. By taking the reader out of the narrative flow with an aside that is thought to be clever, but in reality is fooling no one and should be taken by the reader for exactly what it is. Dumb. The following is just such a review.
Further Disclaimer Whenever a reviewer doesn't have the sac to admit his own inadequacies, he will hide behind the curtain of "all reviewers do this," when in fact, all reviewers do not, and sit, confused, along with the reader saying perhaps aloud, "What the fuck is this moron talking about?" This is just such a review.
Black metal doesn't need to be taken seriously. Sometimes it wasn't even taken seriously by the ones making the music. This posturing dates back to the eighties when black metal was in its infancy and Venom was a band to be feared despite not believing a word of the satanic shit they were dishing out. The ruse continues to this day with Cradle of Filth, who have a misguided notion that printing "Jesus is a Cunt" on their shirts somehow make them the real deal.
Make no mistake, Gorgoroth is the real deal. Listen to their music. Watch the interview with lead singer Gaahl in the outstanding Metal: A Headbanger's Journey documentary. Yes, they wear the corpsepaint and spiked leather and whatnot, all standard to the genre that the casual viewer may easily dismiss as buffoonery, but whether or not we take them seriously doesn't mean shit to a tree. They're as serious as a heart attack.
For those familiar with the band, the new album Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam will really be nothing new at all. Same blast beats, same aggression, same love of Satan. But here's the deal; none of this is a bad thing. You don't listen to black metal bands anticipating change and growth. It's a pretty formulaic style of music that you either make a connection with, or you don't. For me? This all means that it's a great frigging album.
The first thing that comes to mind is how remarkably tight they sound when so many of their brothers in antichrist tend to slop their way through whatever "Let's Rape Jesus" anthem your sullen hesher roommate's iPod happens to shuffle-stop on. This is especially impressive considering the use of session drummer Frost who, granted was the band's drummer on previous albums like 1998's Destroyer and 1996's Antichrist, but after almost ten years sounds like he never left the throne to begin with. Guitarist Infernus has never sounded better and - oh for the love of Christ - if you've made it this far in the review, it sure as shit isn't because of my meandering prose. You're curious of the album, yes? Then stop reading my nonsense. Head down to your local independent music store and buy Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam. Give yourself or a loved one a very Black Christmas.