Okay this may seem a bit pretentious with us reviewing our own, so to speak, but many other mags do the same and I’ve never seen anything wrong with it, especially when it’s something quality that we would absolutely cover if it were not affiliated with us in the first damn place and ATF is certainly high on my list of quality USBM that stays true to classic black metal and avoids the post Deathspell Omega Si Monumentum trilogy and Funeral Mist clone afflictions. And sure, it is distinctly BLACK METAL… no surprises there, but why the Hell shouldn’t it be? Reviewers, myself included, always want something NEW and bold, but sometimes to the point of overlooking the important fact that it’s more of a feeling that makes the music so penetrating rather than anything else. Technically stuff like early Burzum sucks, so does Beherit, and even early Bathory, but what makes them so timeless and definitive is the feeling they give us when we hear them, so if you want technicality and showmanship listen to power metal. Seriously!!!!! When a reviewer bitches about a black metal album being too black metal, it’s time to either skip over it or read it for amusement. Anyway, with that said I’m moving on to getting this done and below are some glimpses of what to expect on here:
“Light Cast Out” has these nasal incantation vocals that are layered with the main vocals sort of like a second (inhuman) vocalist chanting the exact same lyrics but that have a slight delay/echo feel to them which I’m sold on instantly. The grungy guitar tone on the rhythmic powerchord assaults and the circling, churning flow to the rhythms do bring Emperor to mind with touches of Satyricon, Immortal, Gorgoroth, especially when the dark and slightly folksy melodic solo break comes in around the 2- minute mark. To my ears there’s just something timeless and hypnotic about this song that goes beyond comparison to anything else other than a timeless classic album made back when bands did a similar thing, but always their own unique way. So if that isn’t pushing the boundaries of todays dribble than what legitimately does?
“Fear” is a bassline led groover that has a slight veer toward postpunk/deathrock in it, but as the bassline serves more as a force for movement and is mostly underneath as opposed to fully pronounced as it can be with bands like Toil and Hateful Abandon, and maybe even Frost (although I do love those bands). For me the bassline as the driving force of the song nicely balances the treble distortion of the guitars and vocal tone while giving some muscle and physical presence to an otherwise vaporous and spectral texture this type of black metal can have.
“ Hymn to a Gorgon” begins with moody, gloomy, raspy spoken words accompanied by an angular, simplistic and emotive guitar melody that stretches out to roughly half of the songs entirety before blasting into a thrash toned juggernaut of borderline folksy rhythms bulked up with a thumping pulse and catchy, but unpredictable, rhythm breaks. All in all it’s a lot of territory to cover in a single 7-minute song and not make it feel like too much is being put in all at once. The song is fluid and takes one by surprise without disrupting the hypnotic depressive essence of that is so strongly emphasized from the start.
These are just some of the songs that seem to pop out at me repeatedly with each listen but hopefully will give enough of a description of what can be heard on Gorgos Goetia. If you enjoy the melodic, cryptic, atmospheric, and yet still ugly, aggressive and frozen black metal such as: early Abigor, Summoning, early Emperor, Gorogroth, Immortal, and Satyricon just to name a few then ATF will suit your tastes well because that’s what you’ll be getting.