Black metal from the bayou, chock full of thrash and death too, Goatwhore always had about as much going on as a muffaletta sandwich. Formed from other seminal New Orleans bands like Acid Bath, Crowbar and Soilent Green to name a few; these bringers of Baphomet were always a little different than their region brethren.
Now up to their seventh album, Goatwhore have continued to hone their craft with Vengeful Ascension. With their breakthrough album a few years back in Carving Out The Eyes of God, their last two albums might not have hit as hard, so what does this new album bring to the table?
Riffs of course, tons and tons, markedly evident on the album’s second track “Under The Flesh, Into The Soul.” It buzzes from the beginning as Ben Falgoust and Sammy Duet handle the vocal duties as the drums nearly explode from double bass blasting.
“Chaos Arcane” is more of the fast flurry of riffs that the band has been providing us for 20 years. “Where the Sun Is Silent” is a slower song, as the band is wont to do from time to time, rarely moving beyond a mid-paced gallop. Unfortunately, these leave the least impact on the listener.
Goatwhore are easily at their best when speeding through a fretboard engulfed in flames and a bass pedal that is a few kicks from oblivion. The vocal style suits songs like “Drowned in Grim Rebirth” excellently, since Duet and Falgoust switch in and out from the more shrill to the guttural and if done right, create an excellent atmosphere, especially if the black metal riffs follow in such a way as they do here on this track.
Goatwhore remain one of the best bands that New Orleans have produced and with Vengeful Ascension, they are able to bridge the gap between other members of Metal Blade’s roster and those at Northwest Terror Fest.
(released June 23, 2017 on Metal Blade Records)