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Masterful. - 90%

pagancelt, April 24th, 2009

Upon sitting down to give this a listen, my expectations of what I was to be subjected to were twofold: Firstly, that my eardrums were in for a merciless assault the likes of which only the filthiest, most uncompromising purveyors of black/death can inflict, and secondly, that said audial assault would be compounded by an equally raw and unapolgetically primitive sound production. It turns out that only the former expectation was warranted--a most agreeable outcome, indeed!

In full bass-laden, gut-churning, soul-withering glory, Archgoat characteristically waste no time in commencing their unforgiving onslaught of black metal barbarism, unleashing "Death and Necromancy" with such ferocity and vigor that one might swear he was listening to a recording from 1992 if it weren't for the superlative sound quality.

The Finnish maniacs storm on, pausing for scarcely five seconds between songs, allowing Angelslayer enough time to occasionally bark out the title of the forthcoming song and nothing more; no bantering with the crowd, no thank you’s, no bullshit. Nine more tuned-down-to-hell hymns of black hate are spewed forth when, as the feedback leading into the tenth song begins to take coherent form, one hardly has the chance to confirm his suspicion before Angelslayer himself confirms it by roaring, “SATANAS!!” Indeed, a hitherto unheard of novelty in Archgoat’s repertoire becomes manifest: a cover song! Namely, Sarcofago’s “Satanas,” a most fitting homage to one of the earliest progenitors of the black/death tradition.

So, to sum things up, every one of the 12-song set is executed with savage sincerity and uber-primitive intensity, all the while keeping a firm grasp on the listener’s attention, a feat accomplished by a rare caliber of band within the genre. Archgoat, obviously of such caliber, hold a status rarer still: that of genre pioneer who, nearly two decades since their initial offering, have re-established themselves as forerunners of the bestial black metal artform.