Vengeful Ascension - Goatwhore
Album: Vengeful Ascension
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
When you hear the name Goatwhore, they sound exactly like you would expect, an evil, corpse paint wearing, covered in pigs blood, setting churches on fire and hailing the almighty Satan.
Their new album, Vengeful Ascension covers that whole spectrum of extreme blackened death metal, much like 95 percent of bands in this particular genre, and so it’s rather difficult to take seriously. But there are bands like Behemoth, Belphegor and Inquisition who delve deep into the perplexing web of religion and beliefs, and while anti-Christianity remains a strong theme, it never consumes the context of the music with such. To put things lightly, Goatwhore does not give a shit about any of this. It is not deep, mind boggling music, but rather a big solid slab of blackened metal heaviness.
Vengeful Ascension revolves mostly around riffs. They may not be the face melting riffs that the most savage of black metal bands have put forth, but it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the band knows how to put out a banger, or two, or seven. The riffs are nice and crunchy with a death metal grit to them, which can also be said about the half-gargled, half-rasped vocals of Louis Falgoust. Goatwhore has always been a black metal band tinged with death metal and the harsher side of rock and roll, and this record sees them continuing that trend.
Have Goatwhore made any big changes? Not really. There is a bit more atmosphere scattered throughout this album, which is good because your average Goatwhore album usually consists of a fast-paced onslaught that doesn't let up from start to finish. This added sound of moody and brooding interludes and intros sort of breaks things up a bit, allowing the listener to breathe before Goatwhore wrap their dirty hands around your throat again. It’s fast, the riffs are nasty and evil, there’s snarled vocals and even some thrash-inspired drumming is tossed into the mix. It’s like a cauldron of various headbanging genres all stewed together, being more meat and potatoes than anything. Through powerhouse riffs and a shallow sense of looming evil, Goatwhore is doing their name justice once again. The rather unfortunate thing about this would be the lack of intrinsic value that such a record contains, but to hell with it. They don't care and neither should you, because this album smears the concept of intellect and is completely unabashed in what it is-fun, riffing black metal.
For those who already love Goatwhore, or this style of music, you will definitely be quite satisfied with what you'll hear on Vengeful Ascension. Out of all the albums to give a chance, this one would be the record to listen to from their catalogue, as it's a bit accessible and easier to take in. It isn't anything career defining or even genre defying, but it's a step in the right direction, as it's truly a thrill to listen to in an immortal and vicious sort of way.
7.5 out of 10 stars.
Vengeful Ascension is out now via Metal Blade Records.
Check out the official music video for the track 'Mankind Will Have No Mercy' below: