Review Summary: Archgoat drop most of their black metal elements in favor of a more concise, occult influenced death metal assault.
Prepare thy self for judgement day oh holy one..........the Finnish hordes ov darkness have returned from the blackened bowels of hell to deliver a gore soaked, bestial fusion of perverse black/death metal. All that is good and decent in this world has been spoiled by Archgoat's triumphant return in 2011 with the stunning E.P Heavenly Vulva(Christ's Last Rights). Hide your wife, hide your kids, hide your husband because Archgoat is going to murder your soul with five wicked hymns straight outta Satan's playbook.
The listener is greeted with "Intro" a mere stepping stone for the savage ear slaughter that's about to take place. A collage of wind effects and distorted vocals immediately transition into the blistering death/doom piece "Blessed Vulva". Right away you notice that Archgoat have slowed things down a bit. The church bell and oppressive lead doom riff signifies a musical progression for the long running band. Archgoat's trademark Satan vocals return sounding guttural as ever seamlessly complimenting the slower tempos and occult feeling of the song. "Penetrator of the Second Temple' kicks the E.P into gear with a roaring blackened assault that find's Archoat reverting back to their roots. The song finds the band toying with new dynamics, something that really wasn't a part of their arsenal before. There are fast portions spaced out with lumbering doom passages that really help breath new life into Archgoat.
"Goddess of the Abyss" embraces Archgoat's characteristic sexually deviant behavior with expressive female moaning before erupting into thundering death metal. The death metal emphasis is more so apparent here than on any other Archgoat release that I've heard due to the stylistic shift into down-tuned riffage, guttural growls and tempo manipulation. The same statement can be said for their transgression into the doom world. However, with that said Archgoat haven't gotten any less evil or sickening to listen to. They've just begin to refine their sound. They still bring to mind an image of a Pyramid Head-esque creature awkwardly climbing out of the burned ruins of a church to viciously assault an unsuspecting victim.
Another new element to the band is the polished production. This is Archgoat's most accessible release, for better or worse. The production help's bolster their sound into a concise, organized package of death metal. The evil atmosphere, Satanic sprawlings and bestial attitude is still there, fortunately, but it sounds like everything was kind of toned down. Also, I can't say that I was pleased with Archgoat for diminishing their speedier black metal elements but at face value "Heavenly Vulva" is a great piece of occult death metal. Their latest offering while albeit lacking in some respects it still manages to be pretty solid. Packaged with five legitimate songs and 1 uneventful intro this is really just a tease for a new Archgoat full length. Fans of Archgoat, the darker shade of death metal, and the occult should give this a proper spin.