It's tempting to focus on all the controversy surrounding Gorgoroth. It certainly makes for good headlines - competing lineups, copyright ownerships, bitter lawsuits, criminal assault, censorship, even homosexuality - and inevitably, the music gets lost in the shuffle. And it did, for good reason: Gorgoroth just weren't the band they used to be. And hadn't been, for a long time.
See, there was once a time when Gorgoroth were simply a band, and a simply great one, during the cold, dark days of the (mostly) pre-internet 1990s. True Norwegian Black Metal still meant something back then - no nostalgia, no tourism, no fun - and Gorgoroth were truer than most. They still had mystique, even when they made the at-the-time-incongruous leap to a major metal label. Their first three records embodied the era more than just about all else, from sound and songwriting on down to sheer looks and the label from which they sprang (the late, great Malicious Records: hi). Those were glorious times; anyone else who argues otherwise wasn't there in the first place.
Gorgoroth entered the new millennium with a daring, divisive record, but it seemed to signal (in retrospect, of course) a slow, steady decline, as an overhauled lineup began to assert its agenda more aggressively than founder Infernus. "Will the real Gorgoroth please stand up?" was a question on more than a few minds as the decade progressed. Then came the fallout and...well, I'm sure you know the rest. Yawn then; yawn now. Which makes their arrival at 2009's Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt all the more fascinating, and more victorious. A primitive fucker of a record, for what it lacked in fanfare - which is either down the legal dust settling or, in this writer's shit-stirring mind, its unabashed regression - it cleared the decks and reestablished the Gorgoroth agenda. Six years later and now arrives Instinctus Bestialis, an altogether more focussed 'n' welcoming record. Yours truly misses the crudity of its predecessor, but hey: Gorgoroth are truly back to the music, and their first ZT cover story here is well earned. Our man John Norby checks in with Infernus for a titillatingly candid chat.
Oh, right: this issue's one of our most varied yet! And slotting well with our cover stars, lotsa black metal. And one of our biggest reviews sections ever. So get reading...under the sign of Hell!
FREE 16-TRACK COVERMOUNT CD FEATURING
Gorgoroth | Azavatar | Obsequiae | Murdryck | Isvind | Saturnian Mist | My Silent Wake | Absolution | Supuration | Undead | Infected Society | Designs Of Chaos | The Negation | I Am The Trireme | Amestigon | Akitsa
PROPAGANDANews and ZT sponsored shows
REGULAR FEATURESObsequiae | Akitsa | Saturnian Mist | Deathhammer | Embrace Of Thorns | Satan's Wrath | Haar | Prurient | Armored Saint | Ol Drake | High On Fire | Goatsnake | Lucifer | Ken Mode | Rolo Tomassi | Poison Girls
UNDERGROUND BLACK METAL SECTIONAmestigon | Downfall Of Nur | Vargnatt
DARK ENTRIES | DARK AMBIENTYen Pox | Vanessa Amara | Barnett & Coloccia
RAPID FIREUndergang | Lucifer's Fall | Amputory | Azavatar | Maruta | Pig Heart Transplant | Wrathage | Abhor | Undead | Paganland | N.K.V.D.
SENTENCINGAudio reviews including the ZT Soundcheck and Release Of The Issue Live reviews
- LABEL PROFILE | Lamech Records
- ON THE RACK | Luca Turilli's Rhapsody
- ARTIST PROFILE | Anthony J. Roberts
- VIEW FROM THE BUNKER | Alan 'Nemtheanga' Averill's column