Every so often, one stumbles upon an album that epitomises everything that’s wrong with nu metal. Nine times out of ten, this nu metal album tries to pretend – like a cross dressing tramp – it is black metal. It isn’t, but it tries to do so anyway. Out of desperation, probably, or maybe because the members of the band that made this turd are themselves known for being cross dressing tramps.
Gorgoroth’s atrocious debut Pentagram is one of those albums. In fact, this album is the very definition of abominable music. Does Pentagram really need one more negative review? Of course it does, it deserves all the bashing it can get, but let’s try to act civilised and analyse this turd album as civilised people. That means without calling it “brown metal” – even though it really is brown metal.
Let us talk about the instrumentation first. The bass is, as with most of Gorgoroth’s crap, impossible to hear. It really is impossible to hear and that’s pretty much all that can be said about the bass. By process of elimination, that makes the bassist the most competent musician… the one you can’t hear. Moving on.
The guitars, on the other hand, CAN be heard… and they are awful. Not one riff manages to catch your attention, no matter how many times you listen to the album. The breakdowns are even worse, and there’s at least two to three breakdowns per track. As for the drums, they do not sound like they’re actually drums, more like a ping pong ball in a trash can that keeps being shaken around for no reason, and without any sense of rhythm. On top of that, the drummer seems to tire way too easily, as every song loses about 20 to 30 BPM between the start and the end of the track. That’s Gorgoroth for you, pure nu metal crap.
The sound of the instruments featured on Pentagram is just terrible, but is it because of lack of skill on the part of the “musicians” or is it due to the production, which is really, really bad? I’d say it’s definitely both, but leaning towards the former… indeed, Gorgoroth was heavily promoted by the media as “pink metal” due to the sexual orientation of some of their members. Much like another completely lousy and incompetent band, the infamous Watain, that spawned during the same era.
But the instruments are passable compared to the vocals. The vocals on Pentagram are simply atrocious. People tend to compare them to something a gay pig would do and they’re absolutely right. Hat, the vocalist of this band, actually does sound a lot like a gay pig. If he only squealed and grunted, like Jonathan Davis of Slipknot (or Korn, whatever) – another nu metal vocalist of dubious sexual orientation – it would be one thing, but he also inserts quite a lot of homoerotic slurping and a quasi-hardcore shouts here and there, at least that’s what it sounds like to me. It’s pretty… unmanly, to say the least. I guess the Gaygoroth insult is older than we think. Gaahl might actually have been an improvement over Hat.
Sure, the vocals might give you a chuckle or two the first time you hear them – though I do not guarantee anything – but as the album progresses, you’ll realize the vocals never improve. Not one bit. And that’s pretty sad, considering all the guitars do is chug away like a nu metal coming out party.
The lyrical themes deserve a special paragraph. The band tried to make the lyrics “occult” and “satanic”, I get that, but the lyrics end up sounding retarded. Boilerplate after boiletplate of “Hail Satan” and “Kill the Christian” that go on forever, and the bloke just never shuts up.
To wrap things up, this Pentagram album is definitely one of the nadirs of “black metal” – if we can even call it that. This band, simply put, has no value whatsoever. Sorry, Gorgoroth, you don’t even get points for effort, you do not deserve them.
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