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Walpurgia > Altar of the Goatbaphomet > Reviews
Walpurgia - Altar of the Goatbaphomet

Sadistic Recrucifixions - 80%

Nattskog7, August 5th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, Independent

The debut demo of Greek war metal desecrators Walpurgia is here.

With no need for introduction, a scathing array of blast-beats, savage riffs and bestial grunts storm into fruition. The barbaric aggression and primal energy presented are immediately intoxicating, offering Beherit, Archgoat and Blood Chalice style warfare with a simplistic and utterly vicious approach. Pounding onwards, the whole band concoct a deathly, brutal arrangement of pure sonic artillery, trudging through desolate wastelands with their nuclear extreme metal pulverising all in its path. Ferocious and malevolent, there is no peace to be found on this record which is clearly only for those who seek and desire the most intense black-death metal violence.

Each track is a visceral and magnificently chaotic experience, tied together to give the whole demo a relentless energy and unshakable momentum. A monolithic, ravenous storm of guitars, drums and vocals always spewing forth demonic barbarity with a clear yet raw production gives this the perfect bestial feeling. Only the most ruthless riffs, hammered drums and piercing vocals are used on this demo, throwing us through a morbid and untamed tunnel of chaotic terror. Ritualistic, grooving and erupting with crushing aggression, this demo is a fantastically wicked addition to the Greek extreme metal scene.

As mentioned, this demo is clearly only meant for the most maniacal extreme metallers to enjoy. If you find total black-death metal chaos is too intense, then stay away. If, however, like me, you adore the savage convulsions of total armageddon then this is unmissable. An absolutely brilliant debut demo that I hope will lead to further annihilations to come from this band.

Written for

Revels in its limitations - 57%

we hope you die, July 9th, 2020

The debut release from this Greek trio sees them take the animalistic and occultist elements of Teitanblood and tighten up the discipline of riffs into something more controlled and focused. The crushingly simple philosophy of VON is applied to a meatier production job, and a dab more complexity in the rhythm section (just a dab mind). Ultra-primitive blackened thrash is set to blast-beats which only occasionally relent and provide us some contrast to situate ourselves.

Look to early Impaled Nazarene as another reference point for how Walpurgia manage to get more from less with these simple blasting riffs. If the ascending chord progressions are played over a blast-beat – sometimes shifting in emphasis – then they are able to ring out these rudimentary riffs for all they’re worth. This lends more impact to the slower passages as they run up against this blizzard of noise. The vocals also mirror VON in their tendency to utter simple slogans with little regard for musical placement, letting the guttural delivery and liberal amounts of delay do the heavy lifting when it comes to giving them any character to speak of.

This style often gets compared to grindcore, or at least the branch of black metal most closely related to grindcore. Nowadays the genre lines have also blurred with death metal of course. But the similarity only extends as far as purity of purpose. The fidelity to primitivism in craft explored through extremities of speed and noise. But the actual construction of the riffs, the aesthetics and of course the occult lyrical content all diverge wildly from grindcore, to the point where if a function of genre names is to approximate the listening experience, the comparison becomes redundant. This is more of a dirgey slog than the liberating adrenaline shot that is grindcore at its best.

Of ‘Altar of the Goatbaphemot’ there’s not that much more to say. It’s a competent if unoriginal addition to the catalogue of extreme occult death/black metal that revels in its own limitations. It’s a style that rewards those that take few risks, therefore the rewards are more certain but less valuable. We will nevertheless watch the trajectory of Walpurgia with interest as future contributions to this style could nevertheless surprise.

Originally published at Hate Meditations