Review Summary: Goatwhore.
Coming straight out of the New Orleans ‘somewhat’ thriving music scene, which was sadly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and left many great bands scattered throughout the US Midwest, Goatwhore hold very few affiliations with their contemporaries in the mostly blues dominated scene. However, with most of the famous city’s metal scene destroyed, Goatwhore prevailed through hard times and gave us the well executed blackened thrash metal of A Haunting Curse
. Upon listening to Goatwhore’s fourth album Carving Out the Eyes of God
, be forewarned that you know what you’re getting yourself into with names/ titles such as these. The name ‘Goatwhore’ and ‘Carving Out the Eyes of God’ not only scream generic metal names/ titles, but they also carry a sense of “you’ve-heard-this-a-million-times-before”. As accurate as this statement is to any seasoned metalhead, Goatwhore still pull out a valiant effort through their Slayer/Exodus-esque brand of blackened thrash metal.
Comparing this to the bands last effort A Haunting Curse
, Carving Out…
is a nice transition from one album to another as the band tightens up their sledgehammer song writing and war torn atmosphere. Right off the bat, “Apocalyptic Havoc” opens up in a fine thrashy punk attitude before climaxing into a classic Slayer interlude. “Carving Out the Eyes of God” is an obvious album highlight featuring a familiar icy tremelo picked guitar line that transforms into an interestingly twisty melody. While this is a guitar-riff heavy album that is a pleasure to listen to courtesy of Sammy Duet, it seems as if the rest of the instruments kind of fall of the map and produce nothing more than anything you’ve heard before in the aforementioned sub-genres.
For starters, it’s mostly the monotone growls of Louis B. Falgoust II (of the awesome southern influenced, blackened death-metal Soilent Green fame) that really sinks the album into repetitive territory with little to know variation. The rhythmic attack of Zack Simmons is effective and keeps the album in a nice tight focus. However, the problem lies with his lack of variation that he brings to the table through his simple punky rhythms and blast beat assaults. Finally, like most albums that feature anything related to black metal, the bass in non-existent. This would be more of a fault if their were more breaks in the music for the bass to open up, but this should be forgotten once the listener realizes that the album is a non-stop aural assault on the ears.
As straightforward sounding as Carving Out the Eyes of God
can sound to an elitist of the genre, there is still plenty of meat and potatoes type of stuff to be found here, acting as a gateway album into more unique blackened death-metal. For those seeking out what the New Orleans bluesy metal scene has to offer, your best bet would be to just search out Eyehategod, Down, and Soilent Green considering Goatwhore want no common ground with any of their contemporaries. They would rather just play it safe.