Goatwhore, rumoured to be Rick Santorum’s favourite band, kicks your teeth in to start Blood for the Master and never looks back. This, the band’s fifth studio recording, is an attack of the blackest of black metal proportions.
Goatwhore formed in 1997 in New Orleans, with singer/guitarist Sammy Duet bringing together a crew of otherworldly metal demons to play in service of the Dark Lord. Through their many years of destruction, a few line-up changes were in order. Of the original line-up, only Duet and vocalist Louis Benjamin Falgoust II remains. Drummer Zack Simmons joined in 2004, while former Ritual Killer bassist James Harvey strapped in in 2009.
Blood for the Master is an unremitting thrash battering that should please metal purists to their blackened bones. The riffs come heavy and fast, with punishing drums and a scraping, growling set of vocals to seal the deal. The good news about Falgoust II’s vocal attack is that he doesn’t spring the low-register scowl, leaving the Cookie Monster growls to Sesame Street and killing it with a more articulate set of shouts and hammering yells.
“Collapse in Eternal Worth” digs in right away with its talons and draws blood. It can be a shocking intro song if you happen to have your headphones jammed in with the volume cranked, I can tell you that.
Lyrically, Goatwhore is all about the sacrilege and the “dark legion of the damned,” so it’s a nice fit for family get-togethers. With track names like “Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” and “Death to the Architects of Heaven,” you can bet on some really morbid shit between the sheets.
But Goatwhore is more than the sum of its severed parts, after all, and it’s about more than homage to thrash metal and black metal groups of the past. Theirs is a path forged in hellfire and encrusted in brimstone, one of deadly metal like the adrenaline-charged attack of “Judgment of the Bleeding Crown” or the almost punk rock vibe of “An End to Nothing.”
Blood for the Master is a punitive portion of metal and metal accessories. It is a fatal assault on the senses, pulsing with energy and gloom not often experienced in modern music.