One clear sign that a band’s direction is compromised can be seen through unity of style. In this case, we see Gorgoroth lacking a clear voice of their own, in place of which Instinctus Bestialis offers three main ways of constructing sections and a rather pop-oriented way of building whole songs. The first is a bare bones neoclassical melodic method using two guitars, which is an interesting addition to traditionally more modal and harmonically chromatic genres such as death and black metal. Due to the foreign nature of these, the incorporation can be quite delicate and ought to be treated with the utmost care. The second is a collection of standard modern metal tropes ranging from the rhythmic intonations of deathcore with a low-string chug riff, probably inherited from the most prosaic speed metal. Last is the most important of the three in a rather unexpected choice in anthemic heavy metal, which happens to be the customary choice for commercial metal acts which have become barren of inspiration and direction.
Surprisingly, even though this is supposed to be a black metal project, it is only so in name and appearance, while the aesthetics of this music do not seem to reveal even vestiges of what could be considered black metal. While Pentagram showed the world a nascent evil being born through taking rock methodology to its extremes to create a dexterous ambient music, and Antichrist further differentiated and expanded that approach into new forms of outwardly simple yet nuanced meaning in context, Instinctus Bestialis sees the complete collapse of that pubescent genius in an uneventful implosion as a center which has become empty cannot withstand the careless addition of more surface pre-tension. It would also appear that the first choice in purely aesthetic inspiration (rather than an ideological or spiritual one) was in that neoclassic interplay of guitars, but having no vision, only a handful of disconnected riffs in this style were spread throughout the album at random.
It seems appropriate to mention here that there was an actual black metal album that took the promise of this neoclassical melodic idea for the development of the character of the work. This was the theatric and densely populated Supreme Immortal Art by Abigor. The main difference lies not at the surface only, with how the melodies are presented, but the underlying construction and overarching concept in realization of the oeuvre. On the surface level, Abigor manages to makes turn the style of the neoclassical melodies into its own, instead of simply appropriating scale runs, which is the case with Gorgoroth in this album. Furthermore, the central methodology in pacing, texture and narrative air in Abigor’s work retains a very original expression. In the other band, it is nonexistent and we fail to see a soul as the music moves from one genre appropriation to the next.
For a veteran project such as Gorgoroth to thus vacillate in its choice of an aesthetic avenue of development to the point of becoming inwardly estranged from the genre they are supposed to exist in reveals deep perturbations of the principles upon which the spirit of that genre was founded. And in not being able to find clarity and value elsewhere, that a rich communication through aesthetics may take place, a defeated entity devoid of purpose is brought forth from the shadows of humiliated despair and blind frustration.