Gorath – Haunting The December Chords

Russell

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Jul 15, 2001
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The starry attic
www.russellgarwood.co.uk
Gorath – Haunting The December Chords
Self Released – Demo – 2003
By Russell Garwood

Belgian duo Gorath play an amalgamation of both old and new school black metal; at times ringing of "Rebel Extravaganza" era Satyricon, at others classic Emperor and Darkthrone, with occasional acoustic and clean passages which bring Ulver to mind. The band comprises Filip Dupont (The Quiescent, Project 407) on all instruments and additional growls, and vocalist S. Vranckx (Shadow Gate). The guitars hold a lot of melody for the most part, while faster sections have harsher, slightly less tuneful work, but these provide welcome contrast. Clean passages fragment the otherwise unforgiving music, and display complicated bass lines that can sound like early Opeth and add complexity to the sound. The programmed drums are fast but generally varied, with frequent blasts and double bass rolls, and occasional changes in tempo which accentuate the music’s changing moods. The vocals are unforgiving black metal screams, which – at times – border on guttural death metal growls, and complement the music to perfection.

Overall, "Haunting The December Chords" is a varied demo, which is fun to listen to throughout. Occasional caustic onslaughts are juxtaposed by melodic, almost epic guitar lines, and darker passages which create further diversity, while use of white noise is also effective, adding a further dimension. The production, for a demo, is solid and completes an otherwise professional release. Gorath will attract the majority of black metal fans, and are well worth checking out; if they continue in this vein the pair have a bright future.