Goatwhore The Eclipse Of Ages Into Black

Not merely a side project, this full-fledged outfit starring Soilent Green front man Ben Falgoust and Crowbar/Acid Bath guitarist Sammy Duet gives all Scandinavian black-metallers a serious run for their money. Instead of dabbling in overblown orchestration and gothic melodrama, Goatwhore (their name taken from a particularly nasty insult in a strip bar) yanks the reins of dark, Venom-ous thrash and rears in Soilent grind and Brutality death for an exciting dose of black Bayou metal. "Nocturnal Holocaust" pulses with super-tight rhythms, blast-beat drumming and the layered, netherworld screams of both Falgoust and Duet. "The Beauty In Suffering" and "As The Reflection Slowly Fades" amazingly decelerate into doomy Obituary chords, with the latter featuring Falgoust's excellent, full-bodied vocals in a brooding passage. The very Celtic Frost-ish qualities of "Desolate Path To Apocalyptic Ruin" are revisited in the mid-tempo growler "Upon This Deathbed Of Cold Fire," while Tom Warrior-styled death grunts can be heard throughout the record. Exhumed's Mike Beams adds deep-throat backing vocals to "Invert The Virgin" (you'll swear it's a lost Frost tune) and "Perversions Of The Ancient Goat." All these elements - and without the reputation of church arson and homicide - make Goatwhore the new emperors of black metal. (Rotten)