GOATWHORE — Vengeful Ascension (review)

GOATWHORE — Vengeful Ascension album cover Album · 2017 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sometimes, for no obvious reason other than the sheer number out there, a band can just pass you by. Such a band for me is Goatwhore and with the release of their seventh album Vengeful Ascension I’ve finally got around to checking them out. This is all a bit annoying to say the least as a listen through most of their back catalogue has revealed I’ve been missing out on some great music. Still, better late than never I guess and I’ve made up for it by buying a few albums including this latest.

Goatwhore are clearly a band who refuse to be tied down by any sub-genre as all their albums I’ve heard (haven’t managed to track down the first two yet) incorporate black, death and thrash metal as well as hard rock. They’ve found a winning formula and are sticking to it with the main changes being in the balance between the subs from one album to the next. Constricting Rage Of The Merciless (the album preceding this) has been my favourite where they rarely put a foot wrong with song after song of hook laden blackened death/thrash with the odd hard rock moment – Baring Teeth For Revolt reminding me of Motorhead. Vengeful Ascension is another winner with all the same ingredients in place. Forsaken kicks things off and is a somewhat subdued piece of death/thrash initially until the blast beats kick in. Not an obvious choice for an opener - not bad by any stretch but the driving thrash/hard rock of Under The Flesh, Into The Soul which follows would have been a better option. Still, there’s no shortage of great songs on offer including the full throttle Chaos Arcane and Drowned In Grim Rebirth, the latter in particular packing a lot into its four minutes with numerous changes of pace from excellent drummer Zack Simmons. The blackened death of Abandon Indoctrination keeps the energy level of the second half high but again the band refuse to sit still in one place for too long which is one of this bands strengths. Listening on my vinyl copy, which really suits the organic production by the way, it’s pretty apparent that the overall energy level is higher on side 2 as The mid paced title track and Where The Sun Is Silent, both on side 1, whilst both worthy additions are relatively sedate affairs. Goatwhore seem at their best for me when they up the thrash quotient. The standard of musicianship is excellent. I’ve already mentioned the drumming but the guitars and bass of Sammy Duet and James Harvey are equally inventive and compelling. Vocalist Louis B. Falgoust II adds a very convincing blackened rasp also.

I’m probably not yet familiar enough with Goatwhore’s back catalogue to make any sweeping statements about where Vengeful Ascension sits in their back catalogue but because the hooks aren’t quite as strong and because it takes a while to fully get going I would place it behind Constricting Rage Of The Merciless and Blood For The Master at least, but to be honest there's not much in it. Nevertheless it impressed me enough to go and check out their other albums so that in itself says a lot for it. I definitely won’t be missing any more of this great bands album’s in the future. Now to track down those first two.

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Nightfly wrote:
11 months ago
Cheers Adam, well worth a listen as is their back catalogue.
adg211288 wrote:
11 months ago
Nice review Paul. I actually noticed the other day I got a promo for this that I managed to overlook so I'm going to check it out.

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