Review – Goatblood: Adoration of Blasphemy and War

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  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Dunkelheit Produktionen
  • Release Date: May 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Black Metal, Death Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Goatblood is a two-piece Black Metal group that formed back in 2011. Since then, the duo of Reverend Slayer (Morgannon) and Satanic Death Vulva (Decibel Revels, Nacht) started unleashing demo material in 2013, issuing two that year, and one the following. 2015, however, not only saw the Rex Judaeorum / Wolves of Apocalypse split with Nuclear Perversions, but also their debut full-length album Adoration of Blasphemy and War, which is being handled by Dunkelheit Produktionen. But is this official first full-length venture one worth picking up, or is it best left festering in the darkness of the Black/Death Metal underground?

Goatblood presents itself more like an early Mortician album sometimes, just without the extensive audio sample chunks. The production is incredibly raw with a thick buzzing on the guitar and a mild vibration from the bass guitar. The vocals are moderately echoed as well, not to mention the drums jump between sounding like they were programmed, mostly in the bass kicks, to a more natural sound to the rest of the kit, especially in the cymbals that are captured at just the right volume. On top of that, Goatblood‘s material rarely goes too far past the two minute mark, feeding into the Grindcore aesthetic without constantly throwing blast beats in your face.

Of course, this doesn’t always make for the most engaging material. The less furious or grinding tracks can actually suffer from this analog audio quality, mostly due to certain levels, such as parts of the drum kit, being too low in volume, thus leaving sizeable segments to sound barren, even boring. “Animal Anal Acrobatic” relies heavily on Death Metal grooves at a mid-tempo pace that focuses on every aspect of the drums that are pushed in the distance, only slowly adding extra cymbals as the tension increases against the hypnotic rhythm that seems to just drone on into “Arkoholocausted”. Yes, the chords are different overall, but the first thirty seconds sounds about the same due to the dulled output of the buzzing distortion and, sadly, this isn’t the only time you’ll feel like the band is just reusing material for the reasons just mentioned.

But when the intensity picks up, you are greeted to some dirty sounding violence. “The Appearance of the Goatlord” establishes the darker tone of the release through tortured female wails in a fire, though it seems to play up more of a Salem witch trial theme than it does a hellish or ritual-oriented one for the album. Either way, the short but sweet offering drives the venom home, setting up the equally as punishing “Sado Liquidator”, complete with some entrancing slower paced material that sounds like something torn right out of a nightmare. “Necromorph Application Point” has a few slower parts that really lay on thick grooves from the guitars that sound like some kind of behemoth lurking in the distance, but for the most part assault the listener with a great deal of grinding hostility.

Adoration of Blasphemy and War isn’t a bad album overall, it just tends to suffer due to the audio quality not always representing the performances well enough to leave an impact on the listener, or even really keep him/her engaged. It’s unfortunate because there are some slower tracks that sound like they could really stand out as much as “Human Waste Disposal”, which utilizes simple chords that present more of a ritualistic presence from start to finish that sounds otherworldly in an epic Doom Metal manner. Unfortunately, a good number of these sound like nothing more than dull roars due to it. For Goatblood‘s first full-length, Adoration of Blasphemy and War is almost lost within the middle ground, coming off as something that could be summed as nothing more than being “alright”. The band has it in them to churn out a good product, as evidenced on their recent split release, but, for this important one, we’re left with something far from the best example of what the group is capable of.

Digital review copy of this release provided by Dunkelheit Produktionen via Against PR.