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Goatcraft - "The Blasphemer " (CD)

Goatcraft - "The Blasphemer " CD cover image

"The Blasphemer " track listing:

1. Intro: Behemoth
2. Temptation And Fall
3. House Of Death
4. The Blasphemer
5. Hecate
6. Nebuchadnezzar
7. In The Arms Of Pity
8. The Great Red Dragon, Part I - The Woman Clothed With The Sun
9. The Great Red Dragon, Part II - The Woman Clothed In The Sun
10. The Great Red Dragon, Part III - The Beast From The Sea
11. The Great Red Dragon, Part IV - The Number Of The Beast
12. Eternal Prayer Of Urizen
13. Satan In His Original Glory
14. Outro: Leviathan

Reviewed by on April 29, 2014

"'The Blasphemer' belongs in the fold with Thomas Harris's 'Red Dragon' book and Bruce Dickinson's 'Chemical Wedding' as a valuable piece of modern pop culture inspired by the late-great William Blake."

Goatcraft's sole member, Lonegoat, returns with his sophomore release "The Blasphemer," a neoclassical opus devoted to the works of William Blake, who was an English poet and painter during the Romantic Age with unique visions. On canvas, Blake portrayed his thoughts on religion and the supernatural, often depicting spirits or painting multiple scenes to comprise a story. Lonegoat uses each image and idea as an outlet for his own dark mind.

"Intro-Behemoth" is a brooding number influenced by Blake's painting "Behemoth And Leviathan." The ominous vibe makes sense as Blake's painting shows God pointing below to the monsters, Leviathan and Behemoth. The following track "Temptation and Fall" adheres to the beauty in darkness motif where light piano keys create a sense of wonder: The Apple and Original Sin are glorious discoveries. The track captures the glowing essence of Adam, Eve, and the apples seen overhead in Blake's painting "The Temptation and the Fall of Eve."

"The House of Death" is an audio rendering of Blake's painting by the same name, which was an ode to Book XI of Milton's "Paradise Lost." This track begins sluggishly like adapting to an incredible scene, but then Lonegoat picks up the pace, his fingers dancing gracefully like the visions of misery dancing in front of Adam's eyes.

"The Eternal Prayer of Urizen" and "Hecate" hinge more on ethereal key notes and less on piano. These tracks bring to mind the "dungeon" days of Mortiis. There is a grandiosity inherit on the four tracks devoted to "The Great Red Dragon." Each of the four watercolors were created with the Book of Revelations and this particular line in mind: “And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth." Each intense striking of the keys seems to say "Behold!"

Since the outpouring of black metal that hit the States in the late '90s, metal heads have found a new appreciation for keyboards and piano. These instruments bring a type of atmosphere unreachable through guitar, bass, and drums. "The Blasphemer" belongs in the fold with Thomas Harris's "Red Dragon" book and Bruce Dickinson's "Chemical Wedding" as a valuable piece of modern pop culture inspired by the late-great William Blake. Also, fans of keyboard albums by Burzum and Mortiis should find a piece of dark solace in "The Blasphemer."

Highs: The atmosphere and mood.

Lows: To appreciate the album one needs to be in a certain mood.

Bottom line: Look elsewhere for a metal album, but fans of keyboard-era Mortiis and Burzum should enjoy the album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)