Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 4/5
Released by Wounded Love Records in 1993, “Immortal Horde” is a rare underground gem from classic French band GORGON. When listening to the three tracks on offer, it is difficult to believe that GORGON did not achieve more recognition as even in their embryonic stages the band already had not only a strong character formed but also a highly recognizable and unusual sound. Listening now, it is amazing to think these tracks were written so long ago as they still sound fresh, original and timeless. Of course, there is that 1990s atmosphere present that many Black Metal bands aim to recreate today, but there is nothing like the real thing. In this sense, the atmosphere of dark nostalgia also makes this release obsessive compulsive listening.
The first track entitled “Ephaistos” begins with an experimental keyboard piece, before launching into a blistering Black Metal onslaught. Many still frown upon the inclusion of keyboards, but there is always an exception to every rule (and besides which rules were made to be broken). The keyboard highlights add a nightmarish, hallucinogenic quality to the already surreal compositions. The vocals are also a real standout point, combining both low guttural vocals and a high pitched, passionately executed shrieked vocal that at times reminds of BURZUM and early FORGOTTEN WOODS. The guttural vocals are effective in adding a Satanic feel to the tracks and are performed in a similar manner to bands such as TEMPLE OF BAAL (Fra), and perhaps also bringing to mind bands such as AKERCOCKE and GOATLORD (USA) considering the demonic overtones, heavy bass and dualistic vocals. The second track, “Elizabeth” is dedicated to the Blood Countess herself; Elizabeth Bathory and is a worthy ode to her memory. Dark, heavy, weird, twisted and evil…..perfect! The final track “Immortal Horde” is the longest of the three offerings and remains as macabre as you would hope for, leaving a lasting impression with its mind-raping intensity, though this time slightly slower and heavier. The track begins in a way that is surprisingly reminiscent early PARADISE LOST (circa “Lost Paradise”) or even early MY DYING BRIDE (“As the Flower Withers”), crossing genre boundaries from macabre Death/Doom before returning back to Horror-fueled Black Metal. Overall the sound is fast-tempo, bassy, lugubrious and of course cold and grim though not lacking in melody.
One short but sweet 7″EP, only around 10 minutes in duration but with so much to offer! GORGON are well worth checking out for anyone interested in the first wave of Black Metal, or indeed anyone interested in the more eccentric and unconventional realms of the underground.