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Goatwhore: Blood for the Master

Oh, Goatwhore… How I really love this band. I’ve had the opportunity to interview them back in the WSFX FM days, I own almost all their albums, and I’ve seen them about five, maybe six times live now. It’s one pm eastern standard time, and I just got home. Really, I should be going to bed considering my work schedule, but I just had to check my e-mail before I did. And what was waiting for me but Blood for the Master. So, I grabbed it, threw it on, and immediately began formatting this page, which was an epic pain in the ass to do with how bad I was banging my head along to this album already.

The music here is just rich, and it carries a great deal of intensity that fans of the group’s last two albums will find familiar. Honestly, this doesn’t vary too much from what they did on Carving Out the Eyes of God, which is perfectly fine with me. “Collapse in Eternal Worth” immediately grabbed me with how infectious the track was as it hammered away at me with the first wave Black Metal and groove fueled Death Metal intensity we’ve come to expect from the group. The faster pace never lets up, and the energy is just dripping from it like a fine venom that the music injects through the skin. “When Steel and Bone Meet” really feeds more into the early Black Metal days again, especially with the largely Heavy Metal derived guitar solo that just sound as rebellious as any other from the styles infancy. This is carried along well with the Speed Metal style groove similar to Motorhead that just continues to charge forward.

“Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” has me really worried though. Despite how much more aggressive this one is, and how insanely catchy the track ends up, there’s a feeling I can’t shake, and even took a moment to compare. This track immediately threw comparisons to “Apocalyptic Havok,” the single off their previous album into my mind, and some similarities can be found in bridges and certain guitar transitioning chords, and even how the vocals are handled really seem to show evidence of the song’s influence. While this is usually a terrible thing for me as it often ends up a sign of horrible things to come, of all the songs up to this point, I hadn’t banged my head harder. Up to this point, it’s obvious the band is largely trying to build on the success of Carving Out the Eyes of God, as many songs really do feel like throw backs to the album, as evidenced largely from “Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word.” But, “In Deathless Tradition” does start to usher in some rather different material thanks to its slower Death Metal pace, sound, and atmosphere. This leads to a huge shift in the atmosphere, and while I’m saddened by the loss of energy, it just feels so different and I welcomed the change of pace. Even in “Judgement of the Bleeding Crown.” This one did have a little more enthusiasm, but it had some more modern Black Metal sounds to it with a bit of a colder atmosphere backing it up.

Honestly, just five tracks in and I’ve got plenty of mixed emotions. There was a lot I easily felt was the band trying to play off the success of their last album and didn’t bring much originality to this one, but at the same time loved the songs either way. And then when the unique songs for this album do kick in, I wasn’t on board too much largely due to the lack of energy behind them, leaving me feeling somewhat spoiled as a fan and a listener. But, one thing is for sure: My neck is killing me. So far, from a casual spin standpoint, Blood for the Master seems like it’s bringing in some different ideas, but at the same time sticking to what made Goatwhore a household name throughout 2009 and 2010. It’s obvious it’ll happen again though, which, given the quality here, it won’t be such a bad thing in the end really.

Article based on digital review material provided by Metal Blade Records.