Gorgon – “The Veil Of Darkness” (Osmose Productions)
Like an unholy reunion bringing together two of France’s old school names, Gorgon have finally signed to Osmose! Formed in 1991, Gorgon will no doubt be familiar to anyone from the south of France, releasing 4 full length albums before stopping around the turn of the century. Osmose of course, are legendary. So to finally have these two collaborating is truly blasphemous, almost criminal given that neither has either compromised into modernity or changed other to get better at what they do: true old school black metal. Not musicians playing black metal and releasing it, but black metallers playing music and releasing it. Formed by Christophe Chatelet, Gorgon has now been reformed by him playing all guitars and screaming with the aid of a session drummer, along with guest vocals by Cadaveria and Rose Hreidmarr (Anorexia Nervosa) who provided the creepy intro. Playing a simple, but perversely highly catchy black metal erring somewhat to Marduk, Gorgon’s black metal, as typified by other early pioneers also includes plenty of punk, heavy metal and even black n roll across its grooves and rhythmic beats. Unlike their more formulaic successors with everything from sound to look stylised for commercial success, Chatelet remains uncompromising in his ideology of occultism, satanism, death, destruction and most of all – darkness!!!! Well, I have to give him all the credit for his work here, from the catchy material that even non black metallers will appreciate, to the excellent sound, not to mention that “The Veil Of Darkness” is sung entirely in english, probably as a result of Gorgon’s cult status spreading internationally over the years. From the slick beated ‘Still Six Six Six’ with its catchy power chords offset by warbling and rapid fire kick drum, Chatelet’s screaming remarkably still allows his words to be discernible, while not detracting from its harshness. Injecting in some guitar melodies on ‘Border Of The Forest’, its darkness doesn’t lessen and the groove even draws in some punk to make the song even more extreme through its nihilistic vibe as truely old school as it was in the late 80s. Blast beating in on ‘Depraved Conception’ accompanied by evil guitar melodies and screaming, this is an all out number yet held together by some excellent arrangements, not to mention the subtle hooks and tempo variations that really create that atmosphere of menace – excellent. Closing with ‘Our Crusade’ see’s it racing off into Dissection territory with the guitar driving the track through relentless riffing while heaping on plenty of dark melodies and intelligently using quieter haunting passages in contrast to make the savagery even more so. And so, Gorgon certainly lives up to its name now more than ever before!