Label: Metal Blade
Release Date – February 14, 2012
New Orleans blackened death metal gods Goatwhore have just released their fifth studio album on Metal Blade Records. Long regarded as one of the hardest working bands in metal, fans have seen the group progress from a small side project to one of the most prominent extreme acts in the New Orleans southern sludge scene.
Goatwhore has consistently released a new album every three years, and every one of those albums defines a sonic progression for the band. Blood for the Master is what the band themselves call a “logical progression” in their careers, and marks a return to the band’s roots, a path they’ve been blasphemously heading down since 2006’s A Haunting Curse. Personnel includes three-quarters of the members as their previous album Carving Out the Eyes of God, bassist Nathan Bergeron, who has been present since 2006 has departed, and has been replaced by James Harvey of Ritual Killer prominence.
Blistering guitar work by founder Sammy Duet, as well as the characteristic Satan-infused lyrics of singer and lyricist Benjamin Falgoust remain a cornerstone of the band’s claim to success. Once again working with Hate Eternal front man and production god Erik Rutan, the raw, Satanic brutality of the band’s first album, Eclipse of Ages Into Black has made its way onto this new album. Bluntly put, we haven’t seen an album like this in years.
One of the great things about Goatwhore is they always offer a little something for everyone. Songs like the breakneck opener, “Collapse in Eternal Worth” bring back memories of the old Celtic Frost days, while the crunchier “When Steel and Bone Meet” display some of Duet and Falgoust’s death metal influences.
Gone is the squealing animalistic breakneck speed soloing that marked Carving out the Eyes of God, however guitarist Duet has seemingly become more sophisticated on this album, choosing to make his guitar sing melodically instead of scream in blissful chaos.
Goatwhore seem to have stopped trying to re-invent themselves at this point in their career, and have instead returned to the black metal infused mayhem that they’ve proven to be masters at. That’s not to say that, as with all of the band’s albums, there’s not a surprise to be found on the record though – “Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos” starts off with something we’ve never seen before – an instrumental acoustic, layered behind a searing solo that will surprisingly make fans pull out their cigarette lighters (or cell phones) .
Blood for the Master will mark a return to the band’s early days, while at the same time adding an air of sophistication that distinguishes this album from the other four in Goatwhore’s catalog. Fans of everything from Celtic Frost, to Mayhem, to Slayer will find something to love here. Albums like this are a shining example of why one of the hardest working bands in the industry has remained one of the most successful bands on the scene.
- Sammy Duet – guitar, vocals (Ritual Killer, Vual, ex-Acid Bath, ex-Crowbar)
- Louis Benjamin Falgoust II – vocals (Soilent Green, ex-Paralysis)
- Zack Simmons – drums (Nachtmystium, Necro Yeti)
- James Harvey – bass (Ritual Killer)