[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]
The Belgian group released several albums that stand high in the range of the metal scene. One could never know what the next record would bring, as Gorath seem to detach themselves from past influences and wear another skin with every record.
“Apokálypsis” draws its imagery from John’s Revelation, and builds 6 spectacular tracks of engaging mental and physical participation.
The record’s debut track places the listener right In front of the Demiurge, “creator of all misery”, and here, unlike the description in John, there is only fear, disgust or hatred that seizes the soul once confronted with the image of its creator. The metal flows naturally in rapid-tempo, reaching infernal melodies that are gently equilibrated by progressive touches. Interestingly enough, Gorath likes to interlude the songs with meditative hypnotic tunes marking the passage towards an aggressive explosion of demonic black metal. As if this immortal seed of bellicose extreme metal needs to be nourished from the slaughter of beauty, the band indulges in artistic explorations in different metal registries.
“The Seven Seals” is a wonderful sixfold tableau illustrating each of the seals that the wanderer from John’s vision was forced to open. Attractively enough, each seal along with its angelic denominator is imbued with different touches of brutal, raw, avant-garde tones of black metal. Gorath’s manner of composition has no genre formalism, it is only dictated by the force of the imagery they tend to put into music. You may find such an approach very demanding, striking impetuously the death metal vigor, flying in whirls through spectacular gymnastics of progressive metal galimatias and finally resolving this intense and burning tableau in fierce black metal. The disc is cut in two by the instrumental track “Wrath of God”, perhaps an echoed noise coming from the distant recesses of God’s abyss.
The storms are driving before this afflicted wrath and sweetly descend in a dashing desire to materialize the bringer of light, “Le Porteur de Lumière”. The beginning burst of ferocious death/black rhythms waste their strength in post-rock tremolos that ferment strings of dim light and then return in fresh ardor pictured by percussions, marching towards an epic, invitational psalm. The track rests upon another biblical myth that has had several historic (even hysteric) interpretations, but Gorath’s only goal is to musically read and transliterate the powerful images that have caused terror in the minds of believers. The plethora of tonalities is of a confusing splendor, so that an engaged listener may suffer from the so-called Stendhal syndrome and have hallucinations, much as Lucifer had when falling endlessly (towards us!).
The Revelation speaks of two beasts, one coming from the sea and the other, more powerful and dominating than the previous one, from the earth. This telluric monster marks men with the sign of the beast so that they can be differentiated among those still innocent. The proportions of the song, “Beasts From The Earth And The Sea”, reach massive textures that engage the mind into a dismal trip of bottomless horrors and exhaustion. A raging beginning part played on dramatic black metal accords is calmed down in desolate attempts to regain light with the help of a sinister Christian litany, seeming to cry for the once glorious heaven. Like a pitiful grin of ironic tonalities the metallic torrent once again stretches over the ruins of faith, announcing the futility of opposition from “the slaves of the Demiurge”. This labored, solemn composition bends souls downward, to the depths where they may find shelter in the void.
On the short “Whore of Babylon” Gorath synthesize their subtle understanding of metal by the means of frequencies touching an alternative lucubration of post-rock likeness. There is here a mélange of lasciviousness and slippery eroticism that you can only find in a true whore.
Their vision ends with “Millennium (Thousand Years Of Darkness)”, a brutal and drunk with fury attack against the children of men. Here their authentic black metal style finds an exquisite example, a coronation relying on a collision between DSO’s sophisticated prophetic solipsism and Ondskapt’s devotional singing, dressed in the refined mantle of William Blake’s poetry. The mind calls forth visions of serpents and worms stretched out in enormous length, of columns of fire and dark waters enormously flooding every corner of your numbed perception. Sounds are napalmed and wander off seeking for ease in vain, only the torrents of black metal will plainly weave your torment.
“Apokálypsis” is an adamantine masterpiece reflecting the raging scales of metal. Try to cut it and it shall remain unaltered, ever shining over the ruined spirits of this ruined world
Gorath – Apokálypsis – Unveiling The Age That Is Not To Come
Consouling Sounds, SOVLXXIV-I
Vinyl, 12″, 2013