Personnel: Pest (vocals); Infernus (guitar); Tomas Asklund (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tomas Asklund.
Recording information: Monolith Studio (2009).
Photographer: Christian Misje.
Arrangers: Tomas Asklund; Infernus.
When founding Gorgoroth guitarist Infernus was sent to jail, his lead singer and bassist, Gaahl and King ov Hell, tried to wrest control of the band from him in court. They lost. When he emerged a free man, Gorgoroth came back with an entirely new lineup featuring Infernus, the band's pre-Gaahl vocalist Pest, bassist Frank Watkins of Obituary (now going by the "black metal" name Boddel), and drummer Tomas Asklund of Swedish death metal legends Dissection. Gorgoroth's brand of black metal has often been mid-tempo, favoring a deathlike rumble to the genre's old-school, head-long sprints. The guitar tones are trebly and razor sharp, of course, but there's a surprising amount of bass and fullness to the mix, and Asklund's drumming is rocksteady and powerful. Pest, who "sang" on the band's classic early albums ANTICHRIST and UNDER THE SIGN OF HELL, has exactly the kind of voice black metal diehards love. Track titles like "Cleansing Fire," "Human Sacrifice," and "Satan Prometheus" appear to tell the tale here, but other songs like "Rebirth," "Building a Man," and "New Breed" reveal that beneath the genre's put-on nihilism, Infernus is happy and proud to have his band back. This is an album of anthems, whether it's the slow march of "Rebirth," the fist-pumping rock of "New Breed," or the almost punk simplicity of the intro to "Cleansing Fire." Gorgoroth have always been a surprisingly varied band, and this is not only a comeback, but one of their most enjoyable albums to date.