Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goatvomit - Chapel of the Winds of Belial EP (2002)

The first impression of Greece's Goatvomit is that of a Blasphemy clone, not only because their EP Chapel of the Winds of Belial is one of the earlier releases on Nuclear War Now! productions, that haven for all things that dwell at the threshold of primitive black, thrash and death metals (similar to Blasphemy), but the band also adopt the ridiculous stage names like 'Bestial Necroperversor of Traditional Goat Worship and Mockery' or 'Hideous Abomination of the Perverted Temple of Necromany'. In addition, their song titles read like a random assembly of phrases taken from the hundreds of evil, occult black and death metal acts to come before. "Nocturnal Litanies of the Judas Goat". "Goatlord of Unholy Sodomy". Yes, they read like an Impaled Nazarene tribute band.

However, once we cut to the meat of the infernal matter, Goatlord only vaguely resembles the aforementioned Canadian icons of the underground. A crudely composed hybrid of black and death metal this is, but it's far less polished and aggressive, and deviates quite a lot from that group's straightforward path of assault. Of the six tracks here, only half are actual metal tracks. "The Fiery Curse" is this bizarre, spoken word incantation of damnation, dowsed in an accent that makes it a wee bit difficult to take seriously. "Nocturnal Litanies of the Judas Goat" sets a dark, horrific ambient atmosphere which provides the most absorbing material to be had here. Lastly, "Nuclear Warheads of the Final Descent" is naught but grimy guitars hammering and wailing without much of a structure other than pissing you off, a waste of space that is basically used to extend the brief release another 2 minutes and make use of a swell song title.

When it comes to the metallic content itself, there are about six minutes of it, if we include the pathetic, 45 second "Demonic War Cult" with a riff, wailing solo, and a couple of snarls. What strikes me as regrettable is that Goatvomit are actually capable of formulating decent death and thrash metal riffs, like that which begins about :40 into "Goatlord of Unholy Sodomy". But the godawful production, bevy of grunts and sneers, and drums that sound as if they were being recorded in the neighbor's garage, it's difficult not to want more. The same could be said for the other metal track of note, "Lord Baphomet's Wrath", which manifests some half-decent old school death metal amidst the generally wild ass guitar patterns.

I don't mind toilet level productions if the music is great, but in this case it doesn't really help either way. These Greeks seem to be having fun within their chosen medium of blasphemy, but apart from the initial and fickle reaction at the sloppy blasting and grinding, or the band name and song titles, there's just little resonant to be found here, outside of maybe the vile dark ambient track. Unless you're into some pretty primitive shit (Blasphemy, Archgoat and old Beherit come to mind, in addition to Impaled Nazarene) and seeking trivial pursuits with repeated use of the go-to generic Satanic scape-'goat', you might want to skip this. I wouldn't call it awful, but it has all been done better. Much better. Numerous times.

Verdict: Indifference [5.25/10]

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