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Goatwhore - "Carving Out the Eyes of God" (CD)

Goatwhore - "Carving Out the Eyes of God" CD cover image

"Carving Out the Eyes of God" track listing:

1. Apocalyptic Havoc (3:16)
2. The All-Destroying (3:13)
3. Carving Out The Eyes Of God (4:19)
4. Shadow Of A Rising Knife (4:38)
5. Provoking The Ritual Of Death (3:43)
6. In Legions, I Am Wars of Wrath (4:33)
7. Reckoning Of The Soul Made Godless (3:50)
8. This Passing Into The Power Of Demons (4:26)
9. Razor Flesh Devoured (4:16)
10. To Mourn And Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways (4:18)

Reviewed by on June 27, 2009

"'Carving Out The Eyes Of God' is a hidden black gem for those looking for mayhem and evil in music form."

Every three years, for the past decade or so, there has been a cloud of red mist that surrounds the vast fields of metal. Stinking of dead flesh, this unholy concoction of blasphemy brings with it a wave of chaos and malicious intent. Even with the proper preparation, it can be next to impossible to be ready for the acid bath that is Goatwhore. Their fourth album, “Carving Out The Eyes Of God,” is a firestorm of ruthlessness and unforeseeable pain and despair towards the faithful and blessed. The band has fine-tuned their blackened death metal sound and added in a few melodic moments to add variety to what is largely a brutal storm of crimson agony.

Goatwhore hasn’t softened their lyrical content over time, as “Carving Out The Eyes Of God” is jam-packed with bitter tirades against religion and false idols and prophecies of the future destruction of humanity. Ben Falgoust II’s raspy vocals are easily distinguishable, making each and every word resonate into the skull of the listener. If there is a heaven, it is sure to be off-limits for this group, with such joyful lines as “who needs a God when you've got Satan” and “the wicked tongue of plague calling forth the death of God.” Those two are just from the opener “Apocalyptic Havoc” alone.

Speaking of the opener, Goatwhore keeps things basic with “Apocalyptic Havoc” and “The All-Destroying.” It's a gung-ho, forward march for the band, a forceful start that is only a small taste of what’s to come in the other eight tracks. For long-time fans of the band, there are little to no surprises. Goatwhore has a workman-like mentality to their songwriting, keeping the album straightforward in its onslaught, never diluting into repetition or half-ass ambiance.

Goatwhore excels at delivering fast riffs mixed with speedy drum work from Zack Simmons, who makes full use of his kit with precise blast beats and strong cymbal work. The band is able to work in an aggressive manner without becoming too monotonous. This is in part due to the melodic tendencies of guitarist Sammy Duet in his lead work. Not every song has a solo, but the songwriting is solid enough that it is hardly noticeable. The title track and closer “To Mourn And Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways” freshens the album up with slower passages and clean guitar. Falgoust even utilizes a spoken-word style in the latter, lending an added haze of bleakness to a song that basically calls for the annihilation of our society.

Producer Erik Rutan, of Hate Eternal fame, did a great job on “Carving Out The Eyes Of God,” giving Goatwhore a beefy sound, with all the instruments balanced and clear in the mix. Well, that is, except for the bass, which can’t be heard at all, but that’s about as surprising in this genre as Dream Theater releasing an album over an hour long. The art work is simple, but effective. It just screams “EVIL!,” with the pure black cover and ominous skull featured prominently in the center.

“Carving Out The Eyes Of God” is another fine release from the New Orleans foursome; a sure sign that the red storm of death still has a ton of power behind it. The songs do blend together near the end, taking away a bit of the hammer-ton impact from the second half of the album, but that doesn’t hurt the band too much. By adding in some mid-paced sections, and experimenting with clean melodies and lead work that leans towards creating an emotion response instead of endless wanking, Goatwhore has shown progression that only comes with years of experience. Don’t mistake progression for a radical revamping of their sound; this is still Goatwhore we’re talking about. “Carving Out The Eyes Of God” is a hidden black gem for those looking for mayhem and evil in music form.

Highs: Frantic blackened death metal, Falgoust is a madman on the vocals, well-placed melodic sections.

Lows: Bass is inaudible, songs blend together near the end.

Bottom line: "Carving Out The Eyes Of God" is another great Goatwhore album that is as evil and unrelenting as their past albums.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 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)