Thursday, September 15, 2022

Goatwhore : "Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven"


One of the best American metal bands going today is back. They are continuing to storm the burning gates of heaven with a sound that offers few surprises, yet seldom feels like they are recycling sounds already beaten into the charred earth.  A black metal snarl occupies the more death metal like aggression of the verses before a lower growl dominates the chorus. The death metal pummeling dished out on the second song is more nuanced as they shift through the riffs. There is more of a spacious black metal feel to the title track, that allows for a balance of pounding drums and atmospheric guitar chords. They guitars are well layered and it's a very interesting mix that sonically feels different than their previous albums.   

They go into a more punk influenced chord progression on "Death from Above".  They find a hookier riff-oriented version of this energy with the more thrash feel of "Ruinous Liturgy". the only problem being when they keep the pace for the song after, it felt like this was the same song. When they dig into the grittier death metal chug of "Voracious Blood Fixation" it is more effective, in the mood it creates. The very deliberate march of "the Devils Warlords" is very effective and true to who they are.  There is a more unlaced approach to the chords leading into "Weight of a Soulless Heart".  Far from selling out, it   shows how a more melodic touch can give a much-needed shift in the shades of blackness, 

"Nihil" finds the thrashing speed of their attack overcoming the song. I do like the layered vocals on the chorus. I know fans of extreme metal do likes balls out blitz, it's not my favorite thing they do and even in this song they latch into a more groove chug. The last song they return to peak form, with songwriting that continues to excel as they blend more melodic guitar work to create a creepy throb. I will give this album a 9.5 and see how it grows on me, they continue to grow 8 albums and two decades into their career. 

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