Gorgoroth -True Norwegian Black Metal
Formed in the early 90's (roughly 1993 when their first demo was recorded) Gorgoroth met immediate praise from the black metal underground with their first album Pentagram, which featured Emperor's guitarist Samoth on bass (one of quite a few bass sessions he did around this time, including Burzum's Aske EP (that same year, 1993) and Satyricon's Shadowthrone in 1994). Pentagram] was highly praised for its very true and insane sound, one aspect which the band would never lose. Recording one more record, 1994/1995's Antichrist EP, before having some line-up changes, ending up with the insanely talented Grim (Borknagar among others) on drums and vocalist Pest being added to back up main men, guitarists Infernus and Tormenter, aroudn whom all line-ups revolve. This was one of their best line-ups, and with it Gorgoroth recorded the classic Under the Sign of Hell released in 1997. This is a classic album continuing the very true sound of the first two records, but with a more experimental feeling, which would be developed further on 1998's Destroyer, on which the drums would be handled by Satyricon's Frost, who had previously played live drums for the band. This album has pretty much been loathed by most "fans", mainly because the experimentation was made a bit more apparent. Personally I don't understand what the big deal was; it's still fucking black metal, and it's still fucking insane.
1999 brought more changes, primarily in the vocal position, as Pest left and Gaahl joined. Gaahl is the second longest living vocalist, and still is with the band. Their first record with him was 2000's Incipit Satan, which was recieved luke-warmly, for reasons I can't grasp, as again, it's still a very good album. It was dedicated to Grim, who had killed himself in 1999, much to the disadvantage of his current band Borknagar, for whom he was drumming amazingly. I don't think their current drummer is as good by far. Their last album released was in 2003, and was titled Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy with Satan, yet again luke-warmly recieved, although I can understand it more with it, as it wasn't as good as earlier albums by far, but certainly was no where near being bad. The band has recently had some run-in's with the law, particularly something dealing with a show in Poland, but to be quite honest I don't know or really care what it was, I'm not overly concerned with crap like that, as most people will probably only remember Gorgoroth for their performance in Poland and the petty insanity surrounding it, and not look at the music, which I'm fully against.
Much like Carpathian Forest Gorgoroth have stayed true to their roots and have never "sold-out," except for signing to Nuclear Blast of course. Not that they sold-out musically. Ironically, even though they never sold-out, they are constantly depised by the "elite" black metal underground, and to many people have 0 credibility. Why? Good question. I don't know. I will say that their first two albums and the Antichrist ep (oft considered an album anyways) are some of the greatest black metal I've heard, or at least, great to me. I'm sure not everyone will like them of course, but I do. I also think that the albums after that are all very good as well, in their own ways. As they continued they started to bring in some suicidal BM elements and trip out a bit. They've always been experimental, and I think to many the outward experimentation on all albums from Destroyer on (rather than touches here and there like earlier albums) left some people cold and confused. Their loss.
1995... Antichrist (EP)
1997... Under the Sign of Hell
2000... Incipit Satan
2003... Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy with Satan)