Urgehal - Goatcraft Torment review
01. Goatcraft Torment
02. Risus Sardonius
04. Dødsmarsj Til Helvete
05. Satanic Black Metal In Hell
06. Nefastus Nex Necis
07. Gathered Under The Horns
09. Sentiment Of Chaos
10. Et Steg Nærmere Lucifer
“This is Satanic black metal”, says the fine corpse paint-wearing gentleman, and all hell unfolds.
We are welcomed, with all disrespect, by rapid, rabid guitarwork, and the kind of harmonies to which legions of black metal connoisseurs (”for we are many…”) have been accustomed by the 2nd Darkthrone LP. But while Urgehal sound pretty much like what you’d expect them to (judging the book by the cover), and we cannot exactly call them very original, they still manage not to sound exactly like strict copycats of any band your review provider’s ear is familiar with.
And that’s perhaps why this album works. It is a combination of indeed the same elements that Tsjuder’s Desert Northern Hell consists of, but the proportions of the various elements make the product somewhat distinct similar to how no fingerprint on the planet has an identical counterpart. At times we are greeted by the cacophony of the Transilvanially Hungry; elsewhere, we hear morbid melodies straight outta Gorgoroth more so than Compton. Further still, an obligatory melo-black influence can be spotted. At most points, however, we should observe that the guitarists are tremolo picking so fervently that, by the end of the record, many tremolos must’ve clearly been picked up from the floor; the blastbeats are literally music to the ears, and the vocals remind the listener, as it should be in black metal, of that one elderly teacher lady from junior high school with a shrieky voice that wakes you up from a class-time nap.
The songwriting could be an advantage to some and a disadvantage to others. A few slower, less intense and more spooky moments are offered for the sake of variety, and this should certainly be sufficient to those recipients who just like their metal as they like their coffee; however, the music lacks any progressive edge which fans of later Enslaved could desire, and there are no interludes akin to those of Satyricon on The Shadowthrone, or of Antestor on The Forsaken, to let the listener breathe. You may think of this album as AI-translated black metal; translated, however, by box-priced and subscription-based translation software rather than Google Translate. It is just full of quality and finely-produced musicianship, with only occasional missteps.
So have a listen if you will, dear reader, but beware that you are dealing with 51 minutes of pure “helvete”.
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