GOATWHORE – A Haunting Curse

Although many purists equate “true” black metal as Scandinavian, GOATWHORE has become the exception to the rule. After all the band’s home state of Louisiana with its blistering heat and malevolent, unpredictable weather has a lot more in common with hell than the cool fjords of Norway. A Haunting Curse, the band’s first album in nearly three years, sees the band taking their mix of BATHORY, HELLHAMMER and VENOM riffs fused with the New Orleans sludge/grind of SOILENT GREEN to a whole new level with the band unleashing its fastest and most aggressive material to date. New drummer Zack Simmons leads the charge with furious blast beats on the first two tracks before the band settles into the more traditional CELTIC FROST-inspired groove of “Alchemy the Black Sun Cult.” “In the Narrow Confines of Defilement” and “Forever Consumed Oblivion” on the other hand, alternate between relentless, over-the-top speed and dark atmospherics; tempered with some traditional, no-nonsense thrash riffing. The album also features the band’s most focused, razor-sharp production (courtesy of HATE ETERNAL‘s Erik Rutan) to date, in contrast to the muddier sound of its predecessor, Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun. To their credit, the band keeps things short and concise, never allowing the songs to drag on pointlessly. GOATWHORE also avoids the conventional song structures and typical lyrics that plague most of their peers. A Haunting Curse is the band’s most punishing record yet, deeply rooted in black metal tradition while exploring new levels of uncompromising intensity. Long may they reign. (Metal Blade Records)

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