New Orleans evokes images of jazz music and wild parties. It’s quite surprising to learn, then, that it’s also the native city of blackened death metal stalwarts Goatwhore. Channeling a little more blackened and a little less death this time, the band once again rains darkness upon the land with their fifth full-length, Blood For The Master.
Opener “Collapse In Eternal Worth” contains all the elements we’ve come to love about Goatwhore: rapid-fire guitar lines, lo-fi style drums, thrash metal breakdowns, and singer Ben Falgoust shrieking and bellowing his way through the whole thing. It also sets the pace for the record, combining elements of black metal and death metal without fitting nicely into either genre. Songs like “In Deathless Tradition” and “Beyond The Spell Of Discontent” follow traditional black metal tenets, utilizing more melodic and atmospheric riffs, while “Embodiment Of This Bitter Chaos” and “Death To The Architects Of Heaven” are more closely rooted in death and thrash metal, employing low-pitched machine-gun guitars and guttural vocals. And closing out the record nicely is “My Name Is Frightful Among The Believers,” a chaotic, catchy number that really showcases drummer Zack Simmons’ jackhammer-inspired patterns.
Goatwhore is a band that knows what it’s good at, and knows what the people want. As such, proponents of the band’s previous albums will definitely want to give this a spin. Folks looking for more black and less death will also want to check this out, as the group has injected a little more traditional black metal in their sound this time around. And next time you visit the Big Easy, remember: it’s not all beer and beads down south.