It’s good to see Norway’s prime purveyors of Satanic evil return with such a strong album after all the legal issues they’ve had to deal with in recent years. I had also hoped that the band would return with a stronger album than the good but rather tame last effort, 2003’s “Twilight Of The Idols”. Well Infernus and co has once again delved into the deepest recesses of Hades in order to summon the hateful spirits that would guide them through the creation of “Ad Majorem…” and they have not disappointed with this new offering!
Starting off with the raging “Wound Upon Wound”, a track that alternates effortlessly between chaotic/noisy and more straight forward sections, the tone is set for the rest of the album. Next up is “Carving A Giant” and let me just say this now – this is easily one of the best songs that this band has ever written! Musically it is more direct and mid-paced than what you usually expect from this band, but the riffs and the militant drumming from Frost just pushes this song over the top. Other killers include blistering “White Seed”, the grim (cliché, I know…) double hammer of “Untamed Forces” and “Prosperity And Beauty”, the latter impressing with some good mid-tempo sections. Gaahl sounds as enraged and possessed as always, but the true hero of this album is Frost with his super tight and authoritative drumming. I am also pleased that Infernus has finally decided to sit down and really concentrate on the riffing on this album – there are numerous well thought out riffs and cold harmonies all over the place here that never gets repetitive. All this adds up to a very good GORGOROTH album.
I would say that “Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam” has found the perfect balance between the chaotic blur of “Destroyer” and the more to-the-point sound of “Twilight Of The Idols” albums. The production is suitably harsh for this style but all of the elements I have described above are well discernable, thank Satan!
IMO this album is definitely one of their best efforts thus far and one of the better albums of 2006! (Online August 19, 2006)