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The back cover of Antichrist proudly declares, "The sin of Satan is the sign of Gorgoroth." For most extreme metal bands, such a claim would be nothing more than entertaining rhetoric dreamed up by a publicist, manager, promoter, or A&R person. But Norway's notorious Gorgoroth is a rare example of an extreme metal band that really can be genuinely disturbing (as opposed to ironic, campy, or dark-humored) in a recording studio. And like Slayer on the death metal side of extreme metal, these black metallers have a long history of providing CDs that sound like the real deal; Antichrist is one of them. This 25-minute disc was recorded in late 1994 and early 1995; by that time, Gorgoroth had already been through some lineup changes, and the pre-Gaahl, pre-King ov Hell lineup on Antichrist includes Hat or Pest on vocals, Roger Tiegs, aka Infernus, on guitar and bass, and Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad, aka Frost (of Satyricon fame), on drums. Despite all the personnel changes that Gorgoroth experienced in the '90s, they had no problem being musically consistent -- and they certainly play with an abundance of conviction on forceful Antichrist tracks like "Heavens Fall," "Possessed by Satan," "Bergtrollets Hevn," and "Sorg," none of which sounds the least bit contrived or the least bit ironic. Gorgoroth's interest in the occult never comes across as a pose on Antichrist; it always sounds disturbingly genuine. Antichrist (which was digitally remastered and reissued by Regain Records in 2007) is not quite as essential as some of Gorgoroth's other recordings, but it's still an engaging demonstration of how seriously they take themselves in the studio.

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