Released: 2012, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Goatwhore’s brand of blackened thrash just seems to get better and more venomous with each release. The band hit a creative and career high point with CARVING OUT THE EYES OF GOD thanks to some high profile tours and MTV rotation (who knew that still existed?), and the band’s latest BLOOD FOR THE MASTER continues that hot streak. Over the course of five albums the N’awlins quartet has evolved from a niche American black metal footnote into a full-fledged thrash metal juggernaut, a quality that you’re consistently reminded of when listening to these ten new tracks.
Razor sharp riffs dressed in fringes of primeval black metal abound with reckless fury, and it sounds pretty damn amazing. “Collapse in Eternal Worth” opens the album without a moment for reflection, as it immediately hits you with a full on vocal and tonal assault. In essence, it’s Goatwhore’s way of saying “it’s go-time.” But it’s the subsequent tracks that follow that really push BLOOD FOR THE MASTER from good to great. “When Steel and Bone Meet” is arguably the most straightforward thrasher on the disc and is sure to be a definite crowd pleaser. Comparably, “In Deathless Tradition” and “Beyond the Spell of Discontent” incorporate more black metal overtones into the thrashy arrangements and end up adding some additional dimensions of heaviness to the tracks. Most of the album rides a balance between these two worlds, which helps to provide some variation against the balls out speed that prevails across the disc. There are some less interesting moments towards the end of the album, but it’d be unfair to call them “filler.” If anything, BLOOD FOR THE MASTER is top heavy with the best material sitting at the front of the bus, which makes everything towards the back seem less glamorous.
But here’s the only thing you really need to know: BLOOD FOR THE MASTER is a fast, heavy, and pissed off collection of tunes that just oozes f@$kin’ METAL from every orifice. It’s a no frills, unapologetic disc that holds up after repeated listens, what more could you possibly want? Check out Goatwhore’s website for more info, BLOOD FOR THE MASTER is available now through Metal Blade Records.