Title: “A Haunting Curse”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 9/5/2006
Genre: Black Metal
Proving the phrase of “that which does not kill you makes you stronger” comes Goatwhore with the follow up to their 2003 release “Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun”. Stronger would totally be an understatement as the music on “A Haunting Curse” both pummels and at the same time captivates you into their Black Metal world with a relentless fury. The recording of the album came after Ben Falgoust (also the singer for Soilent Green) had recovered from some bad injuries from a car accident. For awhile it actually seemed like full recovery would not be a possibility but one day he was just fine and back with a vengeance to work on the new Goatwhore album. Oddly enough, right after that was done the New Orleans band found themselves fleeing for their lives from Hurricane Katrina. All of these dramatic events would lead one to believe that the Fates were looking down on Goatwhore and out to get the best of them. Listening to the album and tracks like the opener “Wear These Scars Of Testimony” and “Bloodletting Upon The Cloven Hoof” will show you that the band walks among us with no fear at all and instead decide to instill the fear into you. Falgoust is powerful on the recording and this will easily translate into some killer live appearances (the band has been selected to open up for the one and only Venom when they return to the States in August/September 2006). Their Bathory influenced Black Metal is a welcome change from the crop of Stateside Death Metal bands who are risking being lost in the mix by keeping the sound to one premise. The aspect of the Goatwhore album that will cause many to raise their attention to them is the level of musicality that is showcased across the recording. Behind Ben’s growls is a killer musical lineup with Sammy Duet (guitar), Nathan Bergeron (bass ) and Zack Simmons (drums) and while the band explores different levels of melody like their European Black Metal comrades there is no sacrificing the heaviness of the tracks. It stood out for me as a listener and fan of the genre and perhaps with more US based Black Metal bands doing this the bar for the genre here can continue to be raised.
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