Gorgoroth is a black metal band from Bergen, Norway. The band has gone through numerous lineup changes, leaving guitarist Infernus as the only remaining original member. Their style, however, has remained relatively consistent from album to album. Though they never print their lyrics, their imagery and general stance focuses primarily on satanism, anti-Christianity, and other such topics. The name Gorgoroth is taken from the J.R.R. Tolkien series The Lord of the Rings, in which it is a dead plateau of evil and darkness in the land of Mordor.
Much controversy has surrounded the band, especially frontman Gaahl. Band members openly insist their music is primarily a catalyst to aid anti-Christian sentiment, criticizing those who listen to their music without sharing such ideology . Additionally, Gaahl has been referred to as "the most despised man in Norway", following a series of violent convictions (most noteably his prolonged six-hour torture of a man in Norway, which resulted in a 9 month prison sentence).
Gorgoroth was formed in 1992 by guitarist Infernus, vocalist Hat, and drummer Goatpervertor. In 1993, the band released their first demo, entitled A Sorcery Written In Blood. It was also released as a split album with Burzum entitled Burzum & Gorgoroth; it contained the same tracks as the demo plus various Burzum songs. After the demo was released, Gorgoroth signed a record deal with Embassy Records and started work on their debut full-length Pentagram. The infamous Samoth of Emperor participated on the album by recording the bass tracks. After Pentagram was completed and released, Goat left the band and was replaced temporarily by Frost from Satyricon. This led the band directly into the recording of Antichrist, their second release. Vocalist Hat decided to leave Gorgoroth in 1995, but not until after he had finished recording the vocal tracks. It was at this time Gorgoroth's well-known vocalist Pest joined. Antichrist was a highly successful release, and led to the band's first live performances supporting Cradle of Filth. They also toured Norway and England with Satyricon and Dissection. Soon the name Gorgoroth was commonplace in the black metal underground, if somewhat overshadowed by some of the more famous black metal bands such as Mayhem or Emperor.
Following the release of the band's third album, Under the Sign of Hell (1997), and Gorgoroth's first headlining European tour, the well-known German heavy metal record label Nuclear Blast sought to sign Gorgoroth. The band accepted the offer in 1998. The first album recorded and released for Nuclear Blast was Destroyer (1998). New singer Gaahl joined the band at this time, but was heard on only one song—the title track—on Destroyer.
In 1999, Gorgoroth began journeying into unknown territory with the recording of Incipit Satan. Though written by Infernus once again, the album delved into musical ideas not expanded upon by the group in previous recordings. Songs such as "Will to Power" showcased strong industrial, dark ambient, and noise influences (more so than on Destroyer and Under the Sign of Hell, both of which showed signs of experimentation). The song "When Love Rages Wild in My Heart" featured clean, bluesy vocals . Overall, the album displayed progressive tendencies, yet still retained a traditional black metal edge and Infernus' signature sound.
Three years later, after further line-up changes, Gorgoroth began writing their new album Twilight of the Idols. The album showed a return to a more solidified black metal style, but was still quite different from early Gorgoroth releases, mainly due to the fact that most of the album's songs were written by bassist King ov Hell rather than Infernus. After the release of Twilight of the Idols, Gorgoroth terminated their contract with Nuclear Blast.
In 2006 Gorgoroth released Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam through Regain Records. For the recording, Frost performed on the drums again. This album helped the band to expand its fan base. Gorgoroth was nominated in the "Metal" category at the 35th annual Spellemann Awards for this album (the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy Awards).
Guitarist Infernus is currently starting his own record label called Forces of Satan.