Goatwhore – “Vengeful Ascension” (Metal Blade Records)
Built on the idea that within negativity there can exist a positive angle comes Goatwhore’s 7th album, fueled by Satan’s casting down from heaven only to rise up and become the ruler of hell! Born themselves out of NOLA’s prestigious scene and veterans of 90s bands like Acid Bath and Soilent Green, Goatwhore are one of those relentless touring bands, and in a decade have made a name for themselves, not in the least due to their music, a dark but catchy blend of black metal, Celtic Frost, Motorhead and of course, that famous NOLA swamp groove. “Vengeful Ascension” continues that tradition magnificently, recorded once again in analog with a top notch team in Jarrett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome), Chris Common (Tribulation, Pelican) and Maor Applebaum (Faith No More, Halford, Today Is The Day) to produce an organic but raw, live sound. With Sammy Pierre Duet’s dark guitar spitting charged grooves, whirlwind riffs and wailing tremolo solos, Ben Falgoust’s equally malevolent vocal drawls add to the menacing atmosphere, of which there is an abundance across the 10 tracks here. That said, don’t be expecting a run of the mill product content to wallow in evilness or bile. The veteran status of both Duet and Falgoust, along with that aforementioned touring experience ensures top quality composing and arrangements to deliver elite level extreme metal, as clearly exemplified across a range of tempos on songs like ‘Under the Flesh, Into the Soul‘, ‘Drowned in Grim Rebirth‘ and the full on ‘Chaos Arcane’. Intense as people as much as their music, Goatwhore also embody a level of sophistication that would even have Satan smiling.