Review Summary: Cold, misanthropic black metal from one of Finland’s finest one-man bands
Released by Werewolf Records in 2004, Death Before Dishonour
started the career of finnish black metal legend BlackGoat Gravedesecrator (what a name) and the Goatmoon name as well. With an album as well done as this, it's easy to see how Goatmoon has received such a cult-like following in the black metal community. While the racist and National Socialist views portrayed within songs like “Kunnia, Armageddon!” and “Pure Blood” are less than desirable, the music itself is fantastic.
As mentioned in the summary, Death Before Dishonour
is outright misanthropic. The vocals presented here have such a sound of bitterness and raw hate that one would be hard pressed to find vocals with a more defined sound of loathing than these. Coupled with the raw and grainy production, the lyrics being screamed are all but indecipherable for the most part, aside from the odd “Satan” or “White Power!”. Because of how raw the vocals are, they become an instrument of their own, as opposed to a vessel for lyrics.
Backing up the verbal fury on this album are the guitars and drums. With production as raw as this, intricacies of the playing are lost. This is a tradeoff though as, where intricacies are lost, an icy coldness is added to the guitar tone, boosting this albums intense nature. Take the song “Disease” for example. The opening is a harsh, dissonant assault on the ears. This song is arguably the most evil sounding on the album and evokes a sense of utter disdain towards man. The drums, while nothing to write home about, further the sound achieved on this album and are competent enough to not cause any problems. They do, however, provide a punk vibe to the sound. A welcome, if not unusual, addition that Blackgoat would later remove from Goatmoon’s sound on subsequent records.
In the end, this album doesn’t do anything new or experiment on the sound of albums that came before it. What it does do is provide a fantastic example of what raw black metal should and can be. If you can ignore the overtly National Socialist views of BlackGoat Gravedesecrator, then you will be treated to an unrelenting slab of black metal.