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Back when I was new to music that wasn't written by Metallica, Pantera, Guns n' Roses, or Megadeth, I always referred to Goatwhore as the epitome of one of the worst things you could ever name your band. Several years and several death metal bands later, I've decided that Goatwhore is awesome, regardless of whatever their name is. Let's face it, the one thing in metal that matters is the music and attitude; image means naught when compared to the riffs.
And on that note, Goatwhore is a top notch band. This site lists them as black/death metal, and I can live with that. I'm not really super educated on the subject of black metal, but the frequent blasts and raspy vocals are enough to draw the parallel for me. Thankfully, they take these black metal elements, and mend them flawlessly with death metal riffs and production. The songs seamlessly intertwine the tremolo riffs of black metal with the crushing riffs of death metal, and even some almost traditional / half-thrash riffs here and there (Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult). And from what I can gather, despite the goofy name, they are 100% serious and ready to stomp your skull if you so much as look at them wrong. There are apparently two vocalists... I say apparently because once again, the site says so. There only seems to be one voice, but maybe it's like Dying Fetus where the two vocalists sound exactly the same. To me, that defeats the purpose of having two vocalists, at least make 'em sound different (as much as most people hate both bands, SikTh and 3 Inches of Blood do this nicely). This isn't a detractor though, I'm actually apathetic towards the number of vocalists on an album (unless it's for Ayreon or Avantasia or something).
The downside here, is that the album loses it's punch by the end. The songs all start to meld to together due to a lack of variation. After a while, the monotone vocals and blast beats start to become similar and in turn cause the songs to lose their luster after about the fifth or sixth song, which is bad considering there is only 10/11 songs (it really depends on if you call Of Ashen Slumber a full song or not). It's not quite an Achilles heel so to speak, more like and Achilles leg. It's not a small weakness that takes down an otherwise flawless figure, it's a rather large weakness that manages to do the same thing.
Unlike my other reviews, I can't quite gab off for a long time about this album, as it's pretty short and.... well, monotonous. Once you've listened to the first four or five tracks, you've pretty much got the gist of the record. It's like you've got a huge row of pumpkins, and you're blowing each one up with your brand new bazooka. Damn is it fun the first few times, but after a while you start to realize that the pumpkin isn't going to blow up any different the twentieth time, so you get bored and find something else to blow up. If Goatwhore took some time to refine their sound and try to channel a tidbit more creativity into their work, I would hang them in the hallowed halls of great death metal. I've got a spot saved for them right between Deicide and Nile, they just need to go that extra mile.