Monday, 1 August 2011

Gorgoroth - Black Mass Cracow 2004

Gorgoroth - Black Mass Cracow 2004 (Metal Mind - DVD 2008)
Is there anyone interested in black or death metal who hasn't heard about Gorgoroth and all the trouble they had with their gig in Kraków, Poland in 2004? Well, annoyingly religious as this country is, I think Gorgoroth couldn't choose a better place to perform a live ritual like this one (maybe only Vatican could be a better place to do that?). A black mass; Polish media were in extasy, having such a material to discuss and radical catholic politics also used the band as an example for depraved metal fans and pretext to forbid metal gigs, etc. They found something called "offense of religious feelings" and even "animal rights protection" laws... Man, fuckin' circus was going on but those, who knew the subject well, have laughed on how stupid and pointless all this discussion and people are. In all this crap they forgot about two things: one being freedom of will and belief and two, if you don't like what you see, just fuckin leave the club, no one forces you to stay and watch Gorgoroth.
Anyway, there were a lot of problems with releasing this DVD, but finally Metal Mind managed to put it out, four years after the gig took place. Was it worth waiting? Definitely yes. I think that every fan of black metal and Gorgoroth especially must feel a real ecstasy while watching this concert. And if you ask from the start, is there really so much controversy as these fuckin enemies were saying? I don't really think so. Few people, naked, hanging on the crosses don't impress me, but the idea is brilliant. Pity that one "crucified" girl lost conscience on the third song already and the other one also disappeared during the gig. There are also tons of decapitated lambs' heads around the stage, barbwires, pentagrams, torches... Everything creates great, satanic atmosphere, but controversy? Well, I guess we metalheads are already used to all that he, he.
As for the live performance of Gorgoroth, as this is what's the most important here, well the band played quite good gig. It's about an hour long and based on band's whole discography, but with the main focus on "Under the Sign of Hell" and "Twilight of the Idols" albums (and with only one song from "Destroyer" for instance). I must say that all the live footages of Gorgoroth (bootlegs mostly) that I've watched earlier always showed a band, which didn't seem to be comfortable on the stage and quite often really sucked, not being even close to capture the essence of their albums. Luckily here everything seems to work fine for them. The section plays tight as hell, both guitarist also (Apollyon from Aura Noir performs a guest appearance on that gig), even if they had some mistakes here and there, who cares? It all goes well, the sound is also fantastic, so it's a real pleasure to watch / listen to this gig.
The biggest pain in the ass is Gaahl, I think. The guy seems to be so lifeless and like he wasn't present with his spirit. Forget about being a good frontman, about introductions to the songs (only once he was able to say a title of the next song!) or whatever. He's very serious, doesn't smile, doesn't react in any way on what's going on in the club, only walks around the stage concentrating on his vocals and raising the horns. It's really weird, I must say. Also I can't say I really like his vocal performance that much. I've never been huge fan of Gaahl's voice, but I'm able to tolerate him on the albums. But in the live situation he shrieks like possessed, he probably also uses effects on his vocals, what annoys me even more. But despite that, I think Gorgoroth delivered a good show. They've played some of my favourite songs, I miss only some songs from "Antichrist" LP ("Gorgoroth", "Sorg"), but at least they've played all those great tracks from "Under the Sign of Hell" and that's good.
Very disappointing part of this DVD is its bonus section. If you think how reach was it on the Carpathian Forest DVD, which was recorded the same day, then the impression of dissatisfaction is even bigger. This DVD has just two bootleg videos from With Full Force festival (2000) and biography, discography, photos... BORING!!! It's a shame there's no interview, which would for example resume all the things that were going on around this gig and also which would talk about the history of the band... Better bonus videos would also be appreciated. Instead we just get this poor, limited crap that isn't even worth to watch.
But anyway, I think this is one of the best black metal DVDs I've happened to watch. Not many bands were able to create such a devastating and satanic show, not many even dare to record a DVD. This one is very professional, with great camera work and sound quality, so it's even better that the band didn't decide to release some bootleged shit like other bands sometimes do. And the controversy? Well, it's always nice to see fear in the terrified eyes of the christian scum, right?
Final rate: 70 / 100

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