Review: Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension

The most foul-titled metal band to grace the Earth with their angry brutality are back; of course, I’m talking about the one and only Goatwhore. The blackened thrash metal titans have released their seventh full-length album, Vengeful Ascension, an unforgiving blast of immensely heavy metal that thunders along at a hundred miles a minute. So if you’re more of a light jazz kind of person, this might not be for you. If, much like myself, you like to punish your ears with high volume, high intensity metal, then you are most certainly in for a treat.

Opening on a lonesome drumbeat which steadily grows louder and more prominent, initial track “Forsaken” quickly flares into life, with the entire band soon following suit and joining in to create a dirty sounding metal. The way in which guitarist Sammy Duet plays short, repetitive riffs creates a circular feel to the music, almost hypnotic, drawing you in, allowing you to have a taster of what’s to follow. In classic thrash style, Goatwhore leave barely enough time to take a breath before beginning the next song, with “Forsaken” ending as quickly as “Under The Flesh, Into The Soul” begins, thrusting you in to a cacophony of maddeningly fast guitars playing punishingly heavy riffs.

Such is the style of Vengeful Ascension, with Goatwhore packing in as many barbarically weighty tracks on the album as possible. This is not to say that every song sounds the same, as there is a surprising amount of diversity on the album. This diversity sees tracks range from deep, sludgy efforts which perhaps would be more at home on a death metal album, to high octane, almost-punkish, speedy tracks, meaning that there is something for all fans across the extreme metal spectrum to enjoy.

A personal favourite of mine from Vengeful Ascension is “When The Sun Is Silent”, a haunting and eerie track which slowly grows in volume, creating a feeling that the entire song is growing in size uncontrollably, until very soon it engulfs you, forcing you to listen to the doomish riffs and crushing bass. “When The Sun Is Silent” appears halfway through the album, acting as something of a midway point for listeners and, as such, counters that which has preceded it. While title track “Vengeful Ascension” previously demonstrated Goatwhore’s ability to play at a slower pace, nothing, prior to or after “When The Sun Is Silent”, matches the trudging style of this track, a song laden with bass notes so low that you can feel them deep in your chest.

Vengeful Ascension is an example of extreme metal done right; a bringing together of the hideously barbaric side of death metal, the theatrics of black metal, and the face-melting velocity of thrash. This combination creates an unstoppable force of metal, something which Goatwhore have perfected throughout their career. Certainly an album not simply for fans of extreme metal, but for those within the wider heavy metal scene; broaden your horizons and allow Goatwhore to educate you in the ways of extreme metal. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Vengeful Ascension is out now and is [amazon text=available on Amazon&asin=B07116YKRQ] in a variety of formats.

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