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Bestial & Unholy Black Fucking Metal - 87%

orphy, February 10th, 2008

Archgoat was a band from the early 90s that had a lot of potential. They, along with bands like Beherit, carved out something unique for Finish black metal, and put Finland on the map. However, Archgoat disintegrated over the years. Finally, the band has re-assembled and given us this unholy slab of black fucking metal known as "The Whore of Bethlehem".

With that being said, a lot of fans would immediately question the quality of the new material. Generally, when a band reforms, it sucks. Not the case with Archgoat. They certainly picked up right where they left off so many years ago, and the band works this style to their advantage. Primitive riffs fly along with blast beats, at break neck speeds. Archgoat varies their quick riffs often enough to keep them interesting, and by not always blasting them. They'll use quick beats on them, but not always blasts.

What makes Archgoat really distinctive is not these primitive riffs and fast sections. It's how they counterpoint them. They do this with slower and mid-paced riffs which have an internal groove. The drums follow along in a similar fashion, creating an unholy atmosphere. The song that does this best is "Desecration", the slower riff is just so evil sounding that it'll be sure to incite rituals.

The album has a lot of stand out riffs throughout, which proves that being primitive is still effective. There's some other distinct features on this release that make Archgoat really addicting. First, the vocals on this are absolutely demonic. Archgoat utilizes lower vocals... think Blasphemy-esque kind of stuff, but lower. Also, they use some sound effects like bells throughout the songs on the slower sections, which give them a feeling of impending and absolute doom.

Honestly, people that hate this album are probably either a) pussies or b) tech heads. Archgoat is NOT a band for the weak, nor is it a band for people who expect technical wankery. That being said, Archgoat is a band for old goats who like blasphemous, dark, and relentless black metal that's blunt and to the point. It's great to see a band like this come back and stick so close to their roots, desecrating all trends that exist today.