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Gorgoroth - "Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt" (CD)

Gorgoroth - "Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt" CD cover image

"Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt" track listing:

1. Aneuthanasia (2:19)
2. Prayer (3:33)
3. Rebirth (6:34)
4. Building a Man (3:23)
5. New Breed (5:29)
6. Cleansing Fire (3:13)
7. Human Sacrifice (3:46)
8. Satan-Prometheus (5:37)
9. Introibo ad Alatare Satanas (0:53)

Reviewed by on October 5, 2009

"While the creative forces brought by both Gaahl and bassist King ov Hell have been dropped, the album still shows why the Norwegians do it best."

After the name dispute debacle between founding member Infernus and vocalist Gaahl, and corresponding online fan war, it wasn’t entirely clear how Gorgoroth would stand when the smoke cleared. Now that the legalities have been sorted out, the Norwegian black metal titans are back with more satanic debauchery in “Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt.” While the creative forces brought by both Gaahl and bassist King ov Hell have been dropped, the album still shows why the Norwegians do it best.

Opener “Aneuthanasia” starts off with right with a well-placed grunt that echoes off into nothingness as the drums begin their barrage of hate. The song is an unholy terror that uses its repeating riffs and focus on heavy sounds to alternate between menacing and ominous, even during the slower segments. There are quite a few deliberately placed sections to be found through the disc, which is a sign of the band’s continuing evolution. Every track doesn’t feature constant and unyielding blast beats with blazing fast guitar riffs just for the sake of trying to rip the audience’s faces off. While the album positively seethes with old school atmosphere, “Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt” is less over the top and more refined than previous output from Gorgoroth.

After the departure of long time vocalist Gaahl, Gorgoroth has seen the return of previous growler Pest to handle vocal duties. His gargled and drawn out screams bring to mind an earlier age of black metal, but without the muffled production. There isn’t a huge amount of range present in the growls, but honestly the songs don’t really need it anyway. The arrangement of the vocals with the instruments has a refreshing simplicity that doesn’t ever get repetitive or boring.

As with previous Gorgoroth offerings, the album sticks to a run time just shy of 35 minutes so that it doesn’t outstay its welcome. Rather than meandering through layers of sound each song tends to get right to the point, with the exception of “Rebirth,” which is a purposefully slow and melancholy song that wanders more than it stampedes. The track also seems to be a message to fans that the band is a new beast not content to rest on its laurels, as Pest screams out “Rebirth of Gorgoroth!” at one point.

Some black metal fans may not fully embrace some of the less furious aspects of the album. The disc has slightly less of the raging evil mayhem familiar to the style, and instead heads into more morose and contemplative places. Gorgoroth still knows how to crush everything in their path when the urge rises, however. “Cleansing Fire” is one of the most energetic tracks on the album, with an active and spiraling feel that gives a sense of physical motion through sound.

“Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt” is a worthy addition to the Gorgoroth discography that should have no trouble pulling in genre fans. While a few parts of the album break from the standard furious pace, those elements tend to make the album more intriguing instead of less interesting.

Highs: Old school atmosphere with higher end production, great arrangments between vocals and instruments

Lows: Some of the songs could have used a little more fury

Bottom line: 35 minutes of refined true Norwegian black metal. Gorgoroth fans should pick it up at the earliest possibility.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)