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GOATWHORE Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Tuesday, October 4, 2022 @ 8:10 AM


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GOATWHORE
Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven

2022, Metal Blade




Ben Falgoust and Sammy Duet are two of my most beloved forces in metal, so forgive me if I am overzealous in my appreciation of GOATWHORE. Their voices individually are the stuff of legend and Sammy’s riff craft is plainly second to none. Together, their alchemical reactions cannot be understated, their somehow contemporary yet arcane sensibilities immediately unknowable. “I know I’m going down into the fire…” Walk with me.

Part of the charm and uniqueness of Falgoust’s delivery is that his lyrics are really not constructed in a traditional way - they are “free flowing expressions that seem to begin and end as they wish. When no words are left for a topic, it simply ends. No coda, just an ending. It is a simplistic view of what no doubt is painstakingly crafted, sure, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t consistently exciting to listen to. Speaking of wordsmithery, new album Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven, from title alone, promises to be, well, a helluva ride. Play fast or don’t.

The sludge influences are more prominent on initial runs through, the NOLA sound alive and well amongst the blackened death metal that has been the stock and trade of GOATWHORE since their inception. There truly is not another band that sounds like them (THE CROWN get close). But something else is prominent in GOATWHORE MMXII - looseness - dare I say, an almost playful flirtation with brute force and fucking thrash, man. And sludge - thick, viscous, liable to drown you if you fall in sludge. Black metal, a peppering of grind but overall, Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven is an exercise in force and scorched earth policy.

Beginning with an uncharastic atmospheric introduction, the men of GOATWHORE (including the first recorded work of bassist Trans Am (Robert Coleman)) gnash their collective teeth and grasp mightily at the invisible oranges before them, beckoning you to do the same with “Born of Satan’s Flesh”. Falgoust’s bellow is unrepentantly demonic, like the churning heartburn of hell itself bubbling up into Lucifer’s throat. Zack Simmons’ drums clap thunderously, his tone full and rich, bell hits snapping like fireworks while the snare blasts and grooves aplenty. The vocal trade offs are goosebump inducing.

“The Bestowel of Abomination” (see? Great name!) snakes in some extremely tasty melody and some fleet fingered fretwork on the part of Duet, understated leads swirling about before a great solo rips forth, with Falgoust’s roar in excellent shape.

Remember that thrash I was on about? “Death From Above” brings it old school, razor sharp riffs over a gallop of drums and bass and gave me an ear to ear smile. There are even some gang vocals - not overdone, but more like a gentle seasoning in the cauldron of chaos.

Elsewhere, GOATWHORE flirt with tonal shifts a la an almost Swedeath feel to the proper start of the back half, with “Victory Is The Light of Destruction” starting with an impenetrable riff before speeding up approximately ludicrous speed, drums and bass guitar anchoring the maelstrom. You’re in the eye of the storm, so hold on.

The final tracks of Angels Hung From The Arches of Heaven are exactly what you’d expect from GOATWHORE - with the exception of the closing track. Acoustic guitar and small embellishments greet the listener, the oncoming storm slowly gathering its strength in hypnotic drum work before coming into an almost prog metal groove. The appropriate term is that “And I Was Delivered From The Wound of Perdition” is epic, both in scope and breadth of expression. GOATWHORE has never been about epic per se, and ending the album on such a note is a very bold move - assuring the listener that there is much more to come from the band. And we are all lucky for that.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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