Blood for the Master
posted on 2/2012 By:
Later this week, I’m going to see Goatwhore open for Lock Up. I’ve seen Goatwhore something like seven or eight times, and they’ve played a supporting slot every time.
This makes sense, because Goatwhore is the ultimate extreme-metal opening act.
I don’t mean to demean them. “Great opener” is not the loftiest station, but it’s a valuable one. Though I’ve seen Goatwhore many times, I’m excited for their set.
This band succeeds by appealing to as many common underground metal tropes as possible. They pander hard, but theirs is a lovable pandering. You can see it in Blood for the Master’s cover art: crucifixion, blood, a skull. These ingredients are clichéd, but it doesn’t matter. The composition is excellent, so the cover works.
Goatwhore’s music mirrors their imagery. Each song is a muddle of familiar extreme-metal elements — some Celtic Frost here, a dash of Immortal there, a powdering of German thrash and Floridian death metal throughout. Goatwhore never sounds like they’re ripping somebody off, but every riff calls another band to mind. Vocalist Ben Falgoust helps them retain a modicum of individuality — he snaps off lengthy, polysyllabic lines like nobody else.
Throw in a ton of spiked leather and some cartoonish song titles (“Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” is a keeper), and you’ve got a Goatwhore album. Like Carving Out the Eyes of God before it, Blood for the Master increases the ratio of thrash to death metal. The band canters more often than they sprint now, but the musicians play in lockstep synchrony even at lower tempos.
This combination of ingredients — old-school riffage, modern sheen, charismatic singer, insanely metaaal imagery — makes for a record that’s almost impossible not to like. That’s why Goatwhore is such a great opener. They’ve got something for just about everyone.
By the same token, Blood for the Master is hard to connect with on a deeper level. It’s instantly enjoyable, but never challenges the listener to do anything more than drunkenly headbang. Goatwhore offers extreme metal as pure entertainment, and that’s okay. These guys aren’t aiming for anything more profound than drunken headbanging.
Catch this album live, and then stick around for the headliners.
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Carving Out The Eyes Of God
A Haunting Curse
Funeral Dirge for the Rotting