Goatwhore – Carving Out The Eyes Of God

I am going to take a quote from my last interview with Sammy Duet (guitar) to start this review as it reads:

SMN: What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
SAMMY: The initial idea. Actually starting off the song is the hardest part. To come up with 2 riffs that just click. Once you get past that it’s pretty easy after that.

If that’s the hardest part for writing a song for GOATWHORE, then he must have really racked his brain in attempting to get their newest release to his fretboard. 2006 saw the quartet partner with Erik Rutan producing A Haunting Curse and hitting the road to deliver their southern blend of black metal fused with a punk edge and garnered many new fans in the process. This time around, again with Rutan producing, they return with Carving Out The Eyes Of God which owes more to their early roots (CELTIC FROST, BATHORY) with a more straightforward approach to their songwriting. Don’t get me wrong as they still have their disjointed moments with riffs held together only by glue, it’s just the album has a more fluid feel to the structure of the songs which is what may have detracted listeners in the past.

You have album closer, “To Mourn And Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways” that has an eerie spoken word type vibe over a dirge riff with a shuffle to it. There’s also “Shadow Of A Rising Knife” that has the old standard horse gallop rhythm throughout the verses before we are led into blast central then a quick change into the guitar solo over a straight fist pumping rhythm. Again, all of this comes natural as guitarist Sammy stands out displaying his soloing ability that is not over indulgent yet played carefully into modes showing his deeper musical ability. “The All-Destroying” still shows that GOATWHORE has not lost who they are musically as it possesses the normal blast beats with driving rhythmic intensity that they have been come to be known for with evil sounding progressions and odd changes. And album opener, “Apocalyptic Havoc” shows that they have become masters of their art working riffs over, inside, and out to create a musical experience. As I expected this album to become more intricate, going the opposite direction with a stronger focus on the ‘riff’ and repetition, GOATWHORE have gone above expectations this time around.

As this release hasn’t left the player since it was received, the main point to get across to those reading is that GOATWHORE have remained true to themselves musically and of course lyrically as well, yet have treated their art as a fine wine. With age they have allowed some of their natural abilities loose to give the listener a better appreciation of their craft. This is destined to be their version of The Blackening by MACHINE HEAD for their genre as they have perfected their art and this album will turn up in many ‘Best Of’ lists for 2009!

Rating: 10/10
Label: Metal Blade
Website: www.myspace.com/goatwhore

By Mark Thompson

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