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Black Metal With an American Twist - 87%

PKendall317, December 10th, 2011

Most metal heads probably think of Norwegian bands like Darkthrone, Immortal, 1349, and the infamous Mayhem and Burzum when they think of black metal. For the most part, black metal is a largely Scandinavian, particularly Norwegian genre of heavy metal that is dominated by bands from that region. The pure, concentrated Satanic darkness that is black metal has migrated to New Orleans and corrupted the band known as Goatwhore.

Goatwhore's debut album Eclipse of Ages Into Black is clearly black metal and clearly influenced by it's Norwegian counterparts. But Goatwhore has also added their own twists to the genre. It would probably be better to call Goatwhore a blackened death metal band, but there aren't very many noticeable death metal influences on this album. Also the production quality is very good, and the album has a very clear sound to it, unlike other black metal album's that I've heard. The guitar work and drumming are probably the most obvious influences of death metal on the album, which are mid to fast paced in their playing, and are somewhat heavier than typical black metal.

One thing I do like particularly about the guitar riffs that I think other black metal albums have a problem with, is that most of them are quite memorable. For example the two Setherial albums that I've heard essentially sound like the same guitar riffs over and over again. On Eclipse of Ages Into Black most of the songs have something about them that makes them stand out from one another. Also at certain times the guitars adopt a slow paced sound that sound that adds a dark, haunting melody to the music.

Vocally Goatwhore pretty much sticks to the traditional black metal shrieks. Falgoust's vocals have a raspier, more throaty sound to them than what you'd normally expect in black metal vocals. At times though Falgoust adopts a vocal style that's best described as mumbling. This is best heard at around 0:58 on the albums second track, "Lair of Nastrond." He also adopts a haunting vocal style that makes me think of a tormented soul that can't find it's way to the afterlife. An example of this can be heard on the track "As the Reflection Slowly Fades" at 1:45.

Thanks to this album Goatwhore has become one of my favorite bands to listen to, and I definately would recommend them to fans of the genre.