Metal Review – Hellgoat: End of Man 7″

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Metal Review – Hellgoat: End of Man 7″
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Hellgoat: End of Man
Black Metal
Boris Records
May 31st, 2014
Release length: 8:54
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Atlanta, Georgia’s Hellgoat has been in existence since 2004. It has also kept a fairly steady three-piece line-up since then, though two long-time members have shifted their roles. Founder Amon Demogorgon (Lament Configuration, former Eyes of Ligeia) started on vocals, moved to bass around 2008, and currently resides as the band’s guitarist. Meanwhile Asmodeus Loriol Vetis went from handling both bass and vocals to guitar and back again, and drummer Vaedis remains in the same position. With the exception of two full-length albums, much of their discography is made up of demos, splits, and EPs, the third of which is what the just over eight minute seven-inch vinyl End of Man falls under. But does this new slab two song release act as a treat for all fans of Black Metal, or will even their most loyal of fans disapprove?

“Demonic Worship of the Horned Beast” introduces the rawer traits of the EP within it’s hostility. The bass guitar has a loud buzz that tears through the mix, the guitars carry a blunt distortion, and the drums are surprisingly crisp against the slightly hollow analog touch with matching echoing vocals that vary between rasps and deeper growls. Of course you wouldn’t know this right away as it takes more than a minute and a half of ritualistic chanting, gun fire, and various sound effects that seem lifted from the old Doom video games before the festivities begin. The track jumps from blasting chaos to slower early Norwegian Black Metal groups without the sensation of frostbite. After such an overwhelmingly long build, the band’s performance fails to make it worth going through thanks to how flat everything sounds, a plague that only worsens on “End of Man.” The blast beat drums and matching guitars are decent when restrained, though come off a bit muffled, but it’s passages like around two minutes in where they speed up to the point where any technicality becomes blurred into what sounds like Animal from The Muppets behind everything but the vocals.

For a seven-inch vinyl release, End of Man is simply unimpressive. The Ambient style introduction, song bridges and closing are nice in concept but go on way too long. Even if cut down, the music itself fails to stand out due to how flat and generic both tracks sound. The best moments of this release are the slower, commanding morsels in “Demonic Worship of the Horned Beast” that end up suffocated by the attempted blistering brutality around them. This EP doesn’t sound like anything that will win over any new fans, but those loyal to the group may forgive some of the flaws that hold this recording back. While End of Man really isn’t the worst seven-inch US Black Metal vinyl you could find on the market today, it’s also far from being a must purchase.

01. Demonic Worship of the Horned Beast – 5:08
02. End of Man – 3:47
Initial Pressing Score: 5/10

Hellgoat

Digital review copy of this release provided by Boris Records via Clawhammer PR.