There was a lot of talk and quite a lot of excitement surrounding the rumors of Goatwhore coming out with a new album; it’s been three years since their last album release, Constricting Rage of the Merciless, and that album was more than just badass! I still remember my excitement once I confirmed the rumors (I found out via Facebook, as I “liked” the band’s page and received the update there); I was at work on break when I saw Ben Falgoust’s ( Louis Benjamin Falgoust) post regarding them currently working on their new album and, in all the excitement, I shouted with a loud “YES!!” My coworkers all turned to stare at me in confusion, unsurprisingly.
Needless to say, after the release of the album, I went out to buy the CD as quickly as possible. I am not exaggerating in the least bit when I say that my mind was blown after listening to the entire album. This is the band’s seventh full-length to be released and, believe me, it’s a hell of a lot more than special for many, many reasons. The sound of this album is really raw and organic, very similar sounding to their live shows (which, by the way, their live shows are phenomenal). Their goal, this time around, was to produce a very raw sounding album that sounds a lot like how they would sound in a live setting; needless to say, that goal was definitely met! With that being said, they chose to work with sound mixing/mastering engineer, Jarett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome), to achieve their raw and organic effect that they were striving for. By doing so, Goatwhore broke their four-album tradition of working with Erik Rutan. Every band, at some point, tries new things when it comes to releasing a new album and, because of it, they end up compensating in ways that show in the final product (leading to disappointment for some). In this case, thankfully, they made sure that doesn’t happen. Believe me, it did not.
Goatwhore’s signature sound of Black/Death/Thrash Metal with a little tinge of post-punk influence thrown in still hasn’t changed much, either; they still kept quite true to their sound and style, which will definitely please their most loyal fans (i.e., me). The resulting ten-track, forty-one minute production really, really shoves your head through a wall. It’s more than a perfect onslaught from start to finish. Allow me to explain each of the songs in brief detail.
Starting from the very first track, “Forsaken,” you hear the intro of drums going into an assault of guitar riffage and drumming bombardment. It sounds like you’re being marched straight into the depths of hell. Their second track, “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul,” sounds like an invasion of pure hostility, while the third track, “Vengeful Ascension” (which is their title track), starts off a tad slow until it goes into a great groove with a mean, galloping riff. The fourth track, “Chaos Arcane,” is named aptly, as the guitar riffs and solos are filled with pure chaos! Their fifth track, “Where the Sun Is Silent,” sounds so dismal from beginning to end; Sammy Duet’s guitar solo in the middle of the song sounds beautifully melancholic, as well. The sound in the sixth track, “Drowned in Grim Rebirth,” is just evil; the scream of Sammy’s guitar and Ben Falgoust’s guttural growls are so incredibly fitting in that song. “Abandon Indoctrination,” the seventh track in the album, sounds just as evil as how abandoning the Christian doctrine and going dark side would sound; now that’s metal as all hell (pun totally intended). Track eight, “Mankind Will Have No Mercy,” which is undoubtedly my most favorite track in the album, has (in my opinion) the best riffs ever. That’s not even the best part; this track definitively describes how incredibly flawed, abhorrent, and sinister the human race can be. The ninth track in the album, “Decayed Omen Reborn,” can easily be the soundtrack to humanity’s destruction. Plain and simple. The tenth and final track, “Those Who Denied God’s Will,” is a perfect closure to the abominable onslaught that is this evil and vile album. The beautifully haunting guitar riffs and the atmospheric solo in this track really gives a solid ending to this album.
Goatwhore really outdid themselves in this album. Ben has always been a lyrical genius, but the intensity in this album is almost unmatched (compared to their previously released albums)—not only lyrically speaking—but musically speaking, as well. The sound in this album pushes the boundary of heavy and extreme with the violent harshness of Ben Falgoust’s raw vocal delivery, the pulverizing sound of Zack Simmons’ drums, and the gut-wrenching chaos of the bass and guitar duo that is James Harvey and Sammy Duet, respectively. Basically, just do yourself a favor and buy this album, as I guarantee that you will not be disappointed! As always, stay metal [\m/] [\m/] !!
Review written by Toufiq Hayder.