Goatwhore will release their seventh full-length studio album worldwide on June 23rd. It has been two years since the release of the band’s last album, Constricting Rage of the Merciless, which seemed to fall very short and lack any true intensity. With the band never fitting into any one specific genre of metal leaving them with a much wider fan base but at the same time leading others to a disappointment like myself. The name alone – Goatwhore – screams heavy, evil, and demonic. Constricting Rage of the Merciless was just the opposite – a bad mixtape of sorts.
I recently saw Goatwhore live while they were on the road with fellow Metal Blade artists Amon Amarth and I was surprised. The band puts on a great live show full of power and intensity. Goatwhore has been labeled before as a “Blackened Death Metal” band, which arguably they are not. To put it simply, it’s raw and heavy.
Vengeful Ascension was recorded with longtime soundman Jarrett Pritchard. The band previously recorded the last four albums with Erik Rutan. However, they stated it was time to try something new, “it was part of trying to remove ourselves from a comfort zone” and capturing the true essence of where the band is live.
The album itself focuses on portraying Lucifer as an emancipator of guiding light, depicting songs of war, chaos, and emotional conflict. This album grabs you with great force right from the opening track “Forsaken” with Sammy Duet’s in-your-face riffs and intense solo storms flying in a frenzy around the hard hammering of Zack Simmon’s drums and James Harvey’s bass rhythm, as Ben Falgoust’s distinctive demon-like roar highlights the group’s chaotic sound. Vengeful Ascension is consistent, raw and heavy, but the full intensity of their live performances still isn’t there yet.