Review : Goatwhore - Blood for the Master
PitchforkIf you take the time to read the script of Blood for the Master, the fifth album by New Orleans death metal quartet Goatwhore, you might be intimidated. True to stylistic expectations, these 10 songs are indeed rife with deicide, genocide, apocalypse, upheaval, bloodshed, and biting. The horror-house images are occasionally compelling, too, like the loaded descriptor "bound in serpent's coil" or the suggestive "a drop of blood in water." During opener "Collapse in Eternal Worth", there's talk of perdition and sacrifice, decay and slaughter, extinction and returning "these false gods to realms of disease." Elsewhere, heavens burn, virgins bleed, underworlds hunger, massacres gratify, and zombies rise. In a brilliant moment of deadly entendre, the narrator even intends to "awake the mourning into onyx dawn."
In an age of Mediafire links and nabbed torrents, though, you're rightly asking yourself who even reads death metal lyrics-- or lyrics at all-- really? Why take the time to pore over these 2,500 words concerning demons and death when you could simply let these 38 minutes blast at high volume? Wouldn't that be more fun? Generally, yes, but Blood for the Master is such a tedious listen from a tired band that the lyrics are more entertaining than the sounds behind them. Each of these 10 verbose tracks pummels through three to four minutes of rote, static death metal, racing through the motions with an edict that suggests not the obliteration of humanity or the heavens but instead imagination itself. If reading lyrics is boring, hearing these is a step worse. Musically, Blood for the Master is bland enough to make mid-song trade-offs between singer Louis Falgoust's serrated sneer and Sammy Duet's deeper bellow newsworthy, because it pretty much encapsulates the extent of any given song's dynamic. When the two briefly shout together during "When Steel and Bone Meet", it's a cause for care that passes as quickly as it happens. And when the second side opens with a spiraling web of acoustic and electric guitars played by producer Erik Rutan, there's an instant when you might even believe Blood for the Master can save itself. It returns immediately, however, into its own morass of circumscription....full text
HeavymetalGoatwhore avoids rehashing Carving Out The Eyes Of God for something more fulfilling with their latest album, Blood For The Master. That’s not to say that after a three year wait, the band have abandoned the breakneck black/death metal that made their last record one of the top albums of 2009. Blood For The Master is as vicious and full of religious bashing as previous efforts, but there’s a sense of freedom allowing the band to try out techniques and sounds they avoided on Carving Out The Eyes Of God.
This freedom is encompassed in the acoustic intro to “Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos.” Paired with guitarist Sammy Duet’s soaring electric harmonies, the classical-leaning beginning is done with a degree of flair missing from the rest of the album. While Goatwhore gets back into the realm of brutality soon after, this minute of brevity stands out in contrast to the rest of the record.
It’s not just one song that gets this kind of treatment. The entire first half of the album has varied tempos, including the catchy stomper “Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” and the crushing heaviness of “In Deathless Tradition.” Those privy to the band’s other four albums will notice that there is a maturity to their songwriting, making the held-back pace of these songs as worthwhile as the faster material that dominates much of the second half.
The trademarks from the past continue to define Goatwhore, including the whammy-heavy guitar solos and dual vocals of Duet and L. Ben Falgoust II. To the untrained ear, the vocals seem like a whole bunch of yelling and grunting, but having two vocalists trading off verses and choruses has worked well for the band. It can be hard to differentiate between them, considering how close in tone their harsh vocals are. Over time, the finer differences become clear, and this interplay acts as another valuable commodity in the album’s longevity....full text
Loudwire“I know I’m gonna die one day and go to Hell, and I’m happy with that. I believe in God, but that doesn’t mean I have to like him.” – Goatwhore guitarist Sammy Duet
Goatwhore have returned in all their blasphemous glory with their new album ‘Blood for the Master.’ Fifteen years into their career, the band have yet to shift merciful for those they disagree with. Quite the opposite – ‘Blood for the Master’ is Goatwhore’s most aggressive album to date, with the constant theme of shedding blood as a sacrifice to Satan.
The album begins with ‘Collapse in Eternal Worth,’ which literally kicks in after zero seconds beyond pressing “play.” Along with blasphemous lyrical themes, Goatwhore guitarist Sammy Duet delivers a constant barrage of thrash and black metal riffs – bringing a unique atmosphere to the record as he constantly evolves his playing by sticking with a root note and using it as the basis for a myriad of both clean and dissonant chords.
Goatwhore pick up right where they left off with their 2009 release, ‘Carving Out the Eyes of God,’ yet the sonic barriers of their sound have expanded in new tracks such as ‘Judgement of the Bleeding Crown,’ which crams in the black metal influence heavily present in their earlier work....full text
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