The new GORGOROTH album will rip your nuts off!! Imagine rabid weasels or some other varmints closing in on your nether regions while you’re staked to the ground naked. Oh…have I got your attention now? Instinctus Bestialis (out now on Soulseller Records), the ninth studio album from these Black Metal stalwarts is actually their first disc of new material in six years, following 2009’s Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt. It is also the first album to feature new vocalist Atterigner, with guitarist Infernus being the only original and founding member remaining. Atterigner sounds like he’s been in the band for a decade though, and the ease with which he assumes his role is seamless. Drummer Asklund and bassist Bøddel, who actually have been in the band for close to a decade, round out this fearsome foursome hell bent on killing everything in sight.
As far as the songs go, the immediate kicker for me was “Come Night”, from the ascending gallop in the verses to the slam-your-head-to-the-pavement crescendo this is far and away the album’s best. “Rage” is another one that spoke to me right away, telling me I should go and sink my teeth into another human being and watch the red, red blood come out…but I didn’t. For SOME reason there’s a law against that. Opener “Radix Malorum” is exactly how to start a Black Metal record; just get in there and fuck shit up, and don’t stop till the village is in smouldering ruins. “Dionysian Rite” is probably my second favorite behind “Come Night”. Everything about it just works together perfectly and commands you to listen again and again.
The steady march of “Kala Brahman” makes for a song that needs to have an accompanying video depicting a bloody conflict on a snowy battlefield, and soon, while “Ad Omnipotens Aeterne Diabolus” made me wanna destroy everything holy within a three-mile radius. But the award for best riffs has to go to “Burn In His Light” which delivers an onslaught of them. And once again Atterigner growls like his life depends on it (maybe it does, I haven’t seen his contract), while Asklund and Bøddel rip open the skies with their sonic assault. Closing the disc is “Awakening” a two-minute romp that drills into the skull with its combination of speed and ferocity, and just like that it’s over.
All told, Instinctus Bestialis is a dark, unholy, menacing creature capable of grinding bones into powder. Atterigner’s vocals are the right fit for GORGOROTH…lower pitched, harsh, angry, and powerful. This combined with the perfect song structures easily makes this my Black Metal Album of the Year. And I’ll be surprised if I’m alone in that assessment, I really will.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM