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Review: Goatwhore - Carving Out the Eyes of God
Carving Out the Eyes of God

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 40:32
Tracks: 10
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: July 26, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Carving Out the Eyes of God

Rated 3.56/5 (71.2%) (25 Votes)

Carving Out the Eyes of God by Goatwhore presents a challenge for me. My preferred genres of metal are Power and Traditional. So why am I reviewing something as Black as Carving Out the Eyes of God? Why not? Those sing-a-long choruses get old every now and then and besides, I saw Goatwhore open for Celtic Frost a couple of years ago and they put on a great show. Plus, you never know when you'll find something new that you might have missed otherwise. With that qualification in place, let's get to Carving Out the Eyes of God.

As mentioned, Black Metal is the order of the day. With a title like Carving Out the Eyes of God, could it be anything else? While most of the album is what I would consider typical Black Metal (with my admittedly limited experience), there are some interesting variations to the style. Vocals that range from evil rasps to full-on undecipherable growls, insanely fast blast beats and wicked lead work are the order of the day. But Goatwhore, in a nod to old school Thrash, slow the tempo down in places, and unleash some riffage that makes me think of Black pioneers like the aforementioned Celtic Frost and Slayer. And nowhere is this more evident than on the awesome opening track, "Apocalyptic Havoc." The title itself screams 80s Thrash. This song is loaded with crushing guitars that, instead of just beating you over the head with distorted repetition, sucker-punch you in the gut with their heaviness. What makes this song especially enjoyable is the huge melodies (yes, I said melodies). Vocalist Ben Falgoust II rasps away while guitarist Sammy Duet peels off blistering solo after solo. "Apocalyptic Havoc" kicks ass. I also really like the abundant Tom G. Warrior-esque deep "oooohs" Falgoust liberally uses throughout the song (and the rest of the album, for that matter), something he picked up while supporting the Frost, perhaps?

My joy over "Apocalyptic Havoc" was short-lived. The rest of Carving Out the Eyes of God is much more typical of today's Black Metal, with only flashes of 80s flavored blackened Thrash. As a whole, it is very well played and one only needs to see Goatwhore live to get a sense of their conviction, both to what they sing about and their craft.

Carving Out the Eyes of God won't convert any Power Metal fans but I'll bet if you already like Black Metal, you'll enjoy the hell out of Goatwhore's latest offering.

Other related information on the site
Review: Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Blood for the Master (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Carving Out the Eyes of God (reviewed by Brett Buckle)
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