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Review: Archgoat - Whore of Bethlehem
Whore of Bethlehem

Label: Hammer Of Hate
Year released: 2006
Duration: 35:38
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: February 16, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Whore of Bethlehem

Rated 3.84/5 (76.84%) (19 Votes)

For a band who never released a full length album, Archgoat had a hell of a legacy, with the band's Angelcunt EP being the focal point for most of the well warranted attention. Being such a short EP, people were left hungry for a full length which never came… that is, until now. Re-forming in 2004 with two thirds of the original line-up, the band issued forth the Angelslaying Black Fucking Metal EP, which put them in good stead for something black metal fans had been waiting for since the early nineties – Whore of Bethlehem.

Have the band made the fatal error of rekindling the flame of a literal legend to produce a turd of an album? Certainly not. But have they released an effort to stand proudly alongside their lauded EP? Well, not quite – but they came pretty close. Whore of Bethlehem doesn't quite have the same jaw-dropping outcome that their Angelcunt EP had way back in the days of yore, but that's not to say it's anywhere near being a poor album. Opening with 'Invocation', a 'Hell Awaits' styled backwards tracked vocal introduction, the first seismic riff of 'Angel of Sodomy' comes crashing through the speakers void of all melody, subtlety and forgiveness. There's such an unwholesome vibe to the album, and at the same time, something very Finnish (and I'm thinking early Beherit and demo era Impaled Nazarene here). Lowest common denominator riffage bludgeons and crushes like a division of Panzer tanks through a war-torn city, with fuzzy guitars reminding of Fuck Me Jesus era Marduk, unintelligible vocal work spewing blasphemous diatribes, and an unusual flat-but-enjoyable drumsound all pulling together to top off this infected pulverizing mass of an album with a maggot eaten black cherry. This really is a relentless aural holocaust, and although it's not full speed ahead tempo-wise, if you listen carefully in the slower sections, you can almost hear Ritual Butcherer's jaw slowly cracking as he grits his teeth together in maximum snarl while smashing out such hateful hymns of destruction and pain.

There's no place for ambient moods when it comes to this style of metal, no flowery melodic riffs, and certainly no pretty Yngwie styled solos. All you're getting here is pure, filthy angel-slaying black metal – and it achieves everything it sets out for. So if you're on the same wavelength as the likes of Conqueror, Blasphemy, Beherit, Von and Krieg… you'll be cracking teeth along to this fucker like there's no tomorrow.

Other related information on the site
Review: Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration) (reviewed by Ulysses)
Review: The Luciferian Crown (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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