Gorath - _The Fourth Era_
(Descent Productions, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
One cannot fault Gorath for a lack of originality in his lyrical focus -- I sincerely doubt that there are many bands inspired by the ancient Mayan 2012 theories! Makes for a refreshing change from the usual North European or Judeo-Christian mythology. Nor can one fault Gorath for their musical approach, which encompasses both traditional black metal as well as its more progressive cousin, in particular reminiscent of post-classic Mayhem and Satyricon, but superior to either of their present incarnations. (He pays tribute to an earlier Mayhem incarnation through yet another cover of "Buried by Time and Dust" -- not a surprising selection, given Gorath's liking for the groovier face of black metal.)

The songs are well-arranged and comparatively complex; clearly one man projects (sole member is Filip Dupont -- no "evil" nom de plumes here!) are capable of more than poorly performed blackened noise. Pity about the programmed drums though: real drums will always be superior to electronic beats, although Dupont admittedly does the best he can with what he has at his disposal.

But this album feels inchoate; not in the sense that it has been rushed, but in the sense that this is merely a stepping stone towards a fuller realisation of his sound. This is not to say that it is bad; Opeth's _My Arms, Your Hearse_ was also, in my humble opinion, a stepping tone on the path towards something greater, yet it cannot be said that that was a bad album. Gorath clearly has the potential to realise something better than this.

Contact: http://www.descent-productions.com

(article published 12/1/2007)

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