Genre: Blackened Death Metal/Thrash
Label: Metal Blade Records
Trying to get it all together when the year comes to an end, during the period of late November – January the whole of the editors’ team does a strong finish sprint that even Ben Johnson would be jealous of. Americans Goatwhore are of great affection to the reviewers here and the readers of the zine, not presenting the 7th studio record would be wrong for sure… This year especially, that 20 years from the bands formation are completed. An important release. While already having three albums from 2009 and Carving out the Eyes of God (I would add A Haunting Curse from 2006 among their best too), stuff that established the band from “the land of Ludovicus” as one of the most important in the scene, but the danger of repetition and the fall of quality and the compositional loop they might fall due to the success of their previous albums, was always lurking. Instead, they chose a different path. At first, they changed a producer from Erik Rutan and gave their trust to Jarret Prichard (guitarist of Eulogy who has done albums by Madball, Exhumed and Gruesome among others). The new sound is also proportional and warm with the difference that the Hellhammerish / punk parts have taken a step back (without disappearing completely of course), giving a protagonist role to the mid paced parts where the rhythm moments are enriched with lots of melody. In general, the guitarwork is good. The primordial riffs and the raw violence gives its place to a more reworked and technical approach. Melody that flirts with atmospheric and epic elements, giving depth and a different aesthetic from what Goatwhore has shown before. No, they didn’t sell out… They didn’t get into experimentation either. They sound more mature and different without lowering their standards. And that counts. A lot. Standing out are Forsaken, Where the Sun Is Silent, Those Who Denied God’s Will and the self-titled track.