goatwhore_cover“Apocalyptic Havoc” is one hell of a heroic entrance for Goatwhore on Carving Out the Eyes of God. It sounds like a pack of angry attack dogs (Dobermans or maybe Rotweilers) breaking their ropes and charging full speed into a crowded nursery. Not a lot of bands can build up your adrenaline from 0 that fast and after a couple listens you’ll be screaming “Alriiiigggghtttt!!” in unison with Mr. Falgoust. Forty minutes later, as you catch your breath again, you’ll probably be thinking the same thing as the rest of us: This is the catchiest album Goatwhore have ever released.

Don’t take that to mean they’ve gone pop or something. It’s a thrashy sort of catchy, with the Celtic Frost knob turned a few more clicks to right than usual. The direction they’ve gone moves away from the nauseating blast-beats of the second half A Haunted Curse and leans more towards their previous crowd pleasers like “Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult.” Goatwhore already proved to themselves – and to the world – that they could play at crippling speeds, and now they’re ready to get up in your face bear their teeth and just be plain bad-ass.

It’s incredible that music that is so rooted in black metal can actually have such potential for mass appeal. While most anyone will be able to pick up on the influence of one Tom G. Warrior on the music, it also bear similarities to the new sound of Satyricon, with more thrash and even some of Sammy Duet’s sludgy Acid Bath experience peeking out through the surface. It’s all black n’ roll, baby. Heavy music with plenty of hooks.

Talk about evil, too! I swear almost every song is filled with Satan-cuddling and promises of destruction to Christendom. The complexity in the vocal arrangements adds a lot, both with Ben Falgoust’s phrasing and verbose lyrics and the tag-team he forms with Sammy Duet (check out “In Legions, I am Wars of Wrath” and “Reckoning of  Soul Made Godless”). In many ways this album combines the creepiness of Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun with the malicious evil of A Haunting Curse coming together perfectly in the finale “To Mourn and Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways.” It’s a ferocious release for a dirty black summer.

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(4 Horns Out of 5)


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