Saturday, 18 February 2012
Review: Goatwhore - Blood for the Master
So Blood for the Master presents a very unrefined, in-your-face delivery of a eclectic range of metallic influences. Jagged thrash metal riffs are a permanent feature, Falgoust's vocals range from his monstrous death growl and his higher pitched screaming, giving him the sound of the American Dani Filth. And of course, Sammy Duet's guitar work reveals an influence from Venom effortlessly, so their black metal credentials are on a permanent high. Goatwhore are a difficult group to categorize and the best term that describes their music is "Blackened death metal". It's a term that's also been used to describe the likes of Behemoth and Annal Nathrakh but it sounds like a term that was created in a confused panic from the people at the record labels.
This kind of thing shouldn't be worried about though, maybe we can just call it "metal" and agree that the sound of Goatwhore is definitive metal. Or not. Because it would be cool to see definitive metal being a little more dynamic than what Goatwhore have on offer. I mean, if there's any band you don't want to see completely revolutionize their sound and start acting experimental and look into the use of electronic elements and so on, it's got to be the bands that play with a traditional death metal influence (I can confidently say that I am the only person in the world that enjoyed Morbid Angel's Illud Divinum Insanus. Please don't hurt me.) but when listening to Blood of the Master, there is often a sense of predictability lurking in one's mind with each new track on offer. Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred and Death to the Architects of Heaven are both played in a way that they could now be described as a "Goatwhore standard" with the continuous repetition of a series thrash riff with a major structural change in the middle before returning to the riff that kicks things off. Also interesting is the fact that Beyond the Spell of Discontent has the exact same riff as Between the Immense and the Dead, the bonus track of the group's 2009 effort.
Overall, this album serves as a mixed bag of metallic goods offering major influence from differing styles of traditional metal, but with little variation on their tracks and constant similarities, there's little to be found on this album that hasn't been present on their previous works. Still, you just know that if Goatwhore made any kind of more streamlined or experimental changes, they would definitely lose a good amount of devoted followers and their devotion and ability to give their sound a more brutal, in-your-face presentation must be praised. So for now, the New Orleans quartet can maintain their throne in the underground scene. But don't expect to move any higher any time soon.
Goatwhore's Blood for the Master is out now via Metal Blade.