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Gorath - Haunting The December Chords (8,5/10) - Belgium - 2003

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 22:57
Band homepage: Gorath

Tracklist:

  1. The Lizard Creature
  2. Suppress My Grief
  3. Lake
  4. *
Gorath - Haunting The December Chords
As soon as I put this disc in I knew I'd like it. There's was just something about GORATH's combination of old school and new school Black Metal that sucked me in right away. It wasn't until I was on my tenth spin that I realised just how much I really enjoyed this disc. I had left it on repeat for a little while, and eventually forgot what I was listening to. When I cued back in, I thought to myself, "what the hell am I listening to? It's fantastic!" As soon as I realized it was GORATH I knew that this band must be something special.

The guitar tone is reminiscent of "Rebel Extravaganza" era SATYRICON mixed with old school DARKTHRONE. In fact, most of the CD can be labelled as something else. The cleaner guitar passages sound like ULVER while the accompanying bass is evocative of OPETH. That's not the point, however, as this seems to be more of an ode to Filip Dupont's, who takes care of everything on this recording, favourite Black Metal bands.

The brief CD goes through a range of Black Metal techniques, starting off with a savage Black Metal attack, but then slows things down, incorporates a darker atmosphere and uses more harmony, and at times almost becomes silent. Once the dust settles, GORATH slowly build up again until they explode into a flurry.

The final track on the disc is more poorly produced than the others, and Filip's vocal sound more tortured, giving the song a definitive BURZUM-esque feeling. Although the slight change in style is noticeable when the track first starts, it fits in nicely at the end of the disc, as it is undeniably GORATH.

A few more releases akin to this and GORATH will stop being an ode to the Black Metal elite, and will instead join their ranks. (Online July 29, 2003)

Mark McKenna



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