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GOATWHORE Vengeful Ascension review

You can always hook me with a good drum intro.  The key lies in whether you can keep me hooked.  I admit, the first time I found this band, I gave it a listen because I loved their name.  My reasons are completely shallow, I know, but you have to admit, Goatwhore rolls off the tongue rather nicely. 

I'm seriously.

As it turns out, in 2013 someone close to me said he used to hang around with vocalist L. Ben Falgoust II years ago.  I didn't ask for details.  I was more interested in the “Blood for the Master” cd I found while exploring his media collection.  It went into frequent rotation in my own collection shortly thereafter.

Normally, I can pick apart a song with ease.  I have never been able to do that with this band.  My brain wants to process it as a package, not as a group of singular instruments in a  perpetually awesome aural assault.  I am good with that, though.  Sometimes it's nice to just see the vast forest and not fuss over each individual tree.  (As an aside to this, I wonder how well americanized English idioms translate into French?)

I've never seen them live.  I've always been someplace else when they play my town.  I hope to rectify that situation soon enough.  Hell, you might even find me in the pit.  I'll be wearing the steel toed boots that day.  At least I know my feet would make it out alive. 

"Vengeful Ascension" by Goatwhore, released June 23

This album drew me in from the very first bars of “Forsaken” and surrounded me in a dark purple haze, punctuated by a drum beat that appeared bright red and slithered forward like a snake in water.  I can already tell this album will be on repeat for awile.  The riffs tie it all together for me.  It's a killer combination of tight guitar work with a bass that doesn't allow itself to get lost in a wall of treble like you hear in some “black” metal bands.  Then again, we are talking about a blackened death metal band, and death metal does like its low notes.  The fact still remains.  Sometimes production lets the bass disappear more than my ears will like.  “Chaos Arcane” comes to mind.  The bass guitar hits you like a battering ram.  Thank you for that gentlemen. 

Also, guitar solos......Those unbaptized in the Goatwhore sound might not expect guitar solos to be bluesy and flavored with Southern rock.  How tasty they are, as evidenced by the title track “Vengeful Ascension”, and “Abandon Indoctrination”.  Have I mentioned that I think this band should be headlining bigger venues?

Falgoust's vocals are a balance between black metal raspy and kick you in the teeth gutteral.  The best part about it for me is that the transition between the two always sounds natural.  It fits perfectly within the instrumentals.  It never sounds like a world unto itself floating over the rest of the band.

New Orleans has its own sound.  It's badass in my humble opinion.  Goatwhore has evolved in a natural way from their early days.  Each album is better than the last.  Writing gets better and the subject matter stays evil.  The coolest part is that they have never abandoned the roots of their sound.  Here, have a track list:

1)      Forsaken

2)      Under the Flesh, Into the Soul

3)      Vengeful Ascension

4)      Chaos Arcane

5)      Where the Sun is Silent

6)      Drowned in Grim Rebirth

7)      Abandon Indoctrination

8)      Mankind Will Have No Mercy<------------my favorite

9)      Decayed Omen Reborn

10)  Those Who Denied God's Will

One of these days, I'm going to ask Ben if he remembers this person who told me they kept company with the same people.  Wouldn't it be trippy if he did......

Buy the damned album!

You won't regret it.

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