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Gorgoroth

By: David E. Gehlke

Now this is interesting: a band member doing promotion for a group he just left. Only in the tumultuous world of Gorgoroth could this happen, as bass player King ov Hell is the only member without the legal eagles hovering over him. Lead singer Gaahl and guitarist Infernus are either doing time or are in the process of getting ready to do time (Gaahl's sentence stems from assault charges; Infernus' was convicted of gross negligent rape), leaving this still very mighty black metal ensemble inactive at the present time.

Before the rest of the band vanishes for a few months into the confines of the always luxurious Norwegian prison system, Gorgoroth has released the deadly ďAd Majorem Sathanas Glorium,Ē a pure black metal tour de force without the gimmicks and experimentation that has flooded the scene. Featuring drums by skin-basher Frost of Satyricon and 1349, this new album is a relentless cacophony of dissonant riffing, biting triplets and bursts of speed few can keep up with. A more scathing and immediate collection than 2003ís ďTwilight Of The Idols,Ē Gorgoroth is one of the last black metal bands that have remained true to the satanic ideals the scene was founded upon.

A man of many projects, including the forthcoming ďIĒ band (not a project, as he would later snap), Jotunspur and Celtic Frost North American tour support act Sahg, King ov Hell proved to be both curt and articulate, choosing his words very carefully, as if he were at one of his band memberís trials. Luckily for him, yours truly was residing in the comfort of his own home on a sweltering summer day in the 'Burgh and would not resort to such interrogations.

Blistering.com: Youíre doing interviews for Gorgoroth, but youíre technically out of the band. What is the reason behind this?

King:
At the moment Iím representing the record since Iím both the composer and bassist on the album. Thatís whyówhat the future brings for Gorgoroth and me, itís undecided at the moment.

Blistering.com: At the present time, will Gorgoroth remain a studio-only act?

King:
Right now itís just Gaahl and Infernus, but both of them are going to jail. I donít think either of them is rushing anything.

Blistering.com: When will Gorgorothís legal troubles be sorted out?

King:
Gaahl will be released from prison in December, and then his situation is sorted out. Infernus, I donít know, some time in the beginning of 2007, but he is currently not in prison.

Blistering.com: How hard was it for you to put together this album with all of this legal stuff going on?

King:
[sighs] Of course, itís a working process where Iím more involved than originally planned. I did all of the music for the album on my home computer. I recorded the guitars, bass and drum programming. I more or less had the album done in 2004, and at that point, none of the members of the band had been involved with any of the songwriting. Then I worked with Frost in 2004 for a couple of weeks, and we went into the studio in the beginning of 2005. From then, it lasted about 13 to 14 months until we finished the album. We used three different studios and a bunch of producers, so it was a long work in process and it was a situation where you had to have a clear and focused mind.

Blistering.com: So this is the second album in a row where youíve handled the songwriting. How do you think your songs have progressed?

King:
It just happened. On ďTwilight,Ē we were a band that went to the rehearsal room and developed ideas and stuff like that. At that time, I was the person with the ideas who was bringing things to the studio. This time, it was a bit different since we didnít have a rehearsal room and we werenít a "band" in that sense of the word. It was really just me and my computer, creatively speaking.

Blistering.com: How did you manage to get Gaahlís vocals recorded?

King:
It was a bit of a rush because he was going to prison in April, I think. We worked until the very end until he had to go. In the end it was me and Gaahl locked in a studio in Bergen [Norway] working 15, 16 hour days to get the vocal parts done. We started to hear voices and stuff because we got more and more insaneóit was a special kind of environment.

Blistering.com: A lot of the songs on the new album feel more lively. Could this stuff be pulled off properly live?

King:
I wanted to create an album that was more brutal and black metal. More black metal, I think. Itís hard to control when you are starting to write riffs. You are in a different state of mind and you write riffs for that particular moment, and itís hard to describe why you are writing a riff. The thing is, I have a background in other styles like jazz and even pop music, so therefore Iíve decided to not to focus too much on what other bands have done in the past. Iíve tried to develop Gorgoroth.

Blistering.com: I know you just mentioned how you donít pay much attention to what other black metal bands are doing at the moment, but you have to be aware of the current state of black metal where a lot of these bands are abandoning their roots.

King:
We have all of this controversy surrounding us, so it had an impact on how the record sounded. We have common ideas of what Gorgorothís agenda is about and that is first and foremost Satanism, but I think Gaahl was more personal on this record. You should ask him.

Blistering.com: How has the move to Candlelight Records been? I know you werenít really a priority for Nuclear Blast in your last years with them.

King:
So far in Europe, it has been quite good. Iím not sure about the states since we just released the album, but in Europe itís going very well and Regain [the imprint Gorgoroth is on] has stuck by every word theyíve said and done a good promo job in Europe.

Blistering.com: On this round of promos, have you found it hard to steer the conversations toward the music instead of all of the legal incidents Gorgoroth has been through?

King:
For me, most of the controversy is about the personal lives of two of the members, but that doesnít concern me. It concerns me on the level that we canít rehearse as much since people are going to jail, but outside of that, itís not my business. Itís something Iíve had to deal with for a while.

Blistering.com: Some point to ďIncipit SatanĒ as being the album that really broke the band. Looking back nearly seven years after it was released, how do you feel about it now?

King:
Lots of things. We should have been better on that record, in my views. It was Gorgoroth in í99, so there were different people involved, so itís representing Gorgoroth six, seven years ago. Looking at it now, some of the tracks have good qualities to them; there are also tracks that could have been a lot better in my views.

Blistering.com: Whatís the status of the ďIĒ band you are in at the moment?

King:
Theyíre mastering the album. The record will be released through Nuclear Blast in October. The outcome of the record is something weíre very proud to present. In my views, itís something very special. There hasnít been a record like this coming from the black metal scene in Norway. Itís very melodic and more "heavy metal"-influenced, and itís like Immortal crossed with Motorhead. I didnít [do] any writing, but I was in charge of the basslines, since all of the riffs and ideas were [from Immortal guitarist/frontman] Abbath. [END]


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