Friday, May 26, 2017
Goatwhore - "Vengeful Ascension "
By the 7th album most bands get land locked into a set formula and a sense of staleness would have set in with the same old same old. That is not the case with the new Goatwhore.
Sure there is not a wild deviation from their sound, but the song writing is more focused and highlights the band's strength and energy. This might also be one of the band's most melodic albums. It seems like they have more readily embraced their death metal side. So in the swirl of hybrid sub-genres that make this band up death metal is the predominant ingredient this go around. The second song "Under the Flesh, Into the Soul" finds more of the blackened thrash like sound that has colored the past two albums. There are some pretty hooky riffs, and it would make you think that my rule of "cool riffs alone , don't make a good song" would hit a band like this hard. This is not the case as a key component to their song writing is having every thing is the perfect place.
The title track is more than likely the album's best song as it is certainly the one I return to the most. One the first verse the vocals which are more spoken than growled are coated in effects to almost create the illusion of singing. I think more death metal bands could take note of how this is done as it really create a wider range of vocal colors. This song still meets the first two in terms of momentum despite being much more melodic. They blast into "Chaos Arcane" but the rapid fire drumming reminds me more of Morbid Angel than anything black metal. This also brings out a more familiar locomotive aggression. This is also one of the band's most well produced albums. They broke away from working with Erik Rutan to have Jarrett Pritchard at the helm, who has also done sound for them. This was a wise move as this seemed to not only find the band entering the studio with a fresh outlook, but has helped open them up to a new range of sounds.
The album also has a dynamic ebb and flow. You go from the more melodic throb of "Where the Sun is Silent" to the faster double bass thrash touch to "Drowned In Grim Rebirth" . Ben's lower growls have a more pronounced death metal resonance to them. The drums also have a very crisp sound to them this time around that you can hear when he really starts flying at the beginning of "Abandon Indoctrination". They are incredibly locked in going into "Mankind Will Have No Mercy" and continue to unleashed razor sharp guitar hooks. "Decayed Omen Reborn" is very deliberate and powerful on death metal. The band's most black metal moment comes in the sonic nature of the guitars on the blasting closer"Those Who Denied Gods' Will" . While Goatwhore doesn't worry about what sub-genre they fit into, and stick to a sound that is them, it's apparent they have rediscovered a sense of adventure with the freshness evident in these songs. I'll round this one up to a 10.