Goatwhore, Carving Out the Eyes of God

What with a recent hype-up of their (as of this writing) upcoming album Blood For the Master, and my having tickets to see them play on Feb. 6,  I revisited Goatwhore’s previous LP, Carving Out the Eyes of God, playing it on tank-like, if outdated speakers, at jet-engine volume.*

At its best, in other words.

“Apocalyptic Havoc” the lead single (see below) opens with all-out Venom/Celtic Frost 32nd notes, updated for this year (which actually is  pretty good synopsis of the entire album), and contains the immortal line “Who needs a God, when you’ve got Satan?!”

“The All-Destroying,” next, is blastbeats then D-beats then flat-out downbeats and contines the tradition thusfar of grimly-satisfied-nodding-to-riffs, rather than out-and-out funky jams… and I love every time singer Ben Falgoust says “Ooooh!” à la Tom G. Warrior.

“Carving out the eyes of God,” has a cool, melodic blastbeaten chorus (and is pretty hummable), and on the right sterio/headphones, the triplet bass drum patterns are Alex Van Halen on “Hot For Teacher” cool.

“Shadow of a Living Knife,” in its middle section fires up a great triplet-bass-drum blast beat and segues into a sweet semi-sweep-picked solo… “Provoking the Ritual of Death” opens with tribal drums and sludge riffs before its blastbeaten percussion returns… “In Legions, I am Wars of Wrath,” with its refrain of LIES! is fucking Epic… “Reckoning of the Soul Made Godless” slows down and rocks out in 4/4, “Razor Flesh Devoured” is pure fury, blastbeat to D-beat to-blastbeat, ad infinitum, wherein it fades out (officially ending the album), although…

“To Mourn and Wander Forever Through Forgotten Doorways,” a bonus track, comes up next, ominous minor-chorded arpeggios leading to a spoken-word invocation, easily the moodiest track here, not unlike “Lucifer” from Behemoth’s Evangelion. I can see why it wasn’t on the official LP, but it probably should’ve been: it’s might’ve worked well in the middle of the released album, as a high-velocity-tempo breather….

The entire album is perfect “blackened death metal,” i.e., the guitars are detuned (i.e., bass-y as hell) and there are as many hyper-kinetic D-beats as there are blast beats, but the lyrics and imagery is occult/Satanic.

Overall, generic but completely invested in what they do:

8.5/10 link

*my beautiful and talented wife was not home; perhaps that was obvious.

Decline of the West is back!: Heavy Metal’s Ghost and their irrational number: or, a diabolical infinite regress where capitalism and Satanism are literally indistinguishable

[Editor: Yes! Dex is back!]

So I just blew my own mind, thinking about Sweden’s neo-traditional heavy metal band Ghost.

It was as fun as it sounds.

Reading some recent article on, some hyperlink led me to their review of Ghost’s Opus Eponymous.

For those of you who don’t know (and I definitely didn’t)– there’s this band, Ghost. They’re Swedish. They released this LP, Opus Eponymous, late in 2010 (here’s the review of it, if yer innerested) and apparently quickly became wicked popular.

Allegedly, no one knows who’s in Ghost.  Allegedly, they are Satanists out to enslave/destroy the world. They perform in weird costumes (the leader up there, called “The Nameless Ghoul”), is dressed to the nines in Pope Gear© (mitre and everything).

Bottom line on the critical-consensus of Ghost:

They’re essentially Blue Öyster Cult with subtly-Satanic/diabolical lyrics that are also pretty literate: for example, there’s a tune on there, one “Satan Prayer,” which has a parallel structure and lyrical content to one Nicene Creed, from the Catholic/Episcopalian mass.


Now, I love BÖC. And since their latest oeuvres are, shall we say, less than stellar, the chance to listen to a sound-alike was too much to resist.

In a recent interview with Decibel magazine (who loved their album), the leader, said nameless ghoul (NG), claimed (as he has in many an interview) that Ghost’s explicit plan was dominate and control the world in the name of Satan.

So far, so metal, right?

What was interesting was NG’s possibly-chilling candor regarding their game plan/war strategy in dominating said Welt:

he said that there were actually counting on people assuming their gimmick (anonymous Satanic cult) was a marketing strategy.

Now, let that sink in a minute.

As I was washing dishes today, stoned as hell, I realized something:

As Hemingway might say– speaking in clean, honest prose, this is the claim of NG:

“We are a Satanic cult bent on world domination; we will achieve this by using your capitalist savvy/cynicism to allay your fears about our true motives– i.e., you will relax your vigilance (allowing us to convert you to our cause) because you will assume, quite incorrectly, that we are only a clever marketing ploy.”

This claim enters his proposition into a strange philosophical conundrum where it is literally impossible to logically determine their true motive (based on this information alone; you could abduct the nameless ghoul and torture him until he tells you the truth, but that’s neither here not there for purposes of this discussion).

So let’s think about it like this, in conversation form:

“Hey, have you heard that band Ghost? They claim they’re Satantic so people will listen and buy their album. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy.”

“But what if they’re really Satanic? Their best chance to get you to drop your guard would be to get you to think they’re just savvy capitalists.”

“Right… but if they’re actually trying to move units, capitalistically-speaking, making you think they’re a Satanic cult who are savvy capitalists is genius.”

“Unless they’re really Satanists, in which case making you think they’re only savvy capitalists is genius.”

…and so on, and so on.

Ghost, and their implicit argument as detailed above, have made two premises, logically-speaking, where each premise both suggests and negates the other.


Ad infinitum.


It’s the Epimenides paradox, fer Chrissake. It’s an infinite regress. Christ, Kurt Gödel used a version of this to scientifically prove (this is what they tell me) that computers can never achieve sentience!

It’s an irrational number, one that, mathematically-speaking, repeats forever and never resolves.

Not unlike 6.66.

Whether you’re talking about the Capitalists or the Satanists– it’s in either version’s best interest to pretend to be the other.

And, neurologically-speaking, since the brain can never logically-conclude a definite motive here, it will keep going back to said problem to resolve it. In other words, it will keep listening.

And this is not excepting that the songs are all extremely memorable purely musically and prone to becoming earworms on their own, even if you couldn’t even understand the lyrics.

Well done, Mr. Nameless Ghoul.

In this virtually-soulless, capitalistically-whored out culture, I say, if you can’t find morality– accept skill.

I don’t normally pimp out records (sorry, Henry!), but I dare you to see if you can resist conversion.

[Original article here.]

Acid Witch, Stoned

Well, they’re waaaaay detuned… a fifth down, to the Most Satanic of Keys, B standard– and in addition…?

They’re ugly, and they’re as close to blackened stoner metal as we can get without a Total Protonic Reversal…!

Satan with a spliff…!

Kursed one with Kief…!

“Live Forever” is a great riff over a Hammond B-3 organ, and the riff in “Witchfynder Finder” is even better. The whole thing is worth getting, but these two are sterling.


The Wounded Kings/ Cough: An Introduction to the Black Arts

Having finally caught Cough’s live show last weekend, and in preparing the write-up, I realized I had never reviewed this one (even though I spooged all over Ritual Abuse last year); please consider this my amends.

Two versions of this review–

1) What the guy behind you at the show might say:

Wounded Kings

It’s just two tracks, The Wounded Kings’ 15-minute “Curse of Chains” first– fucking awesome. Cough as (instrumental up to the 7-minute mark) ambient sludge or doom– like fucking Pelican or Swans if they were slower and worshiped fucking Satan. And there’s a fucking organ!


So yeah, they open exactly like you’d think: about three minutes of feedback and a group BONG! There’s a gong or something else being hit, too. The fucking singer sounds like Linda Blair being tortured or some shit… it’s long as shit too… like 20 minutes or something… Fucking HEAVEEEE, dude….

2) What I’ll say:

Wounded Kings

The vocals really do sound like Michael Gira playing Hammond B-3 and singing for Cough; lyrics are sung and spoken, but never become screams or grunts; this makes the whole thing  sound like a sludge metal Depeche Mode or Morissey. (And I like Depeche Mode.) Makes me wanna hear more from The Wounded Kings. The closing line “I’ll pledge my soul…!” sounds like Ian Astbury. The final A note, on piano, giving the whole work a melancholy grandeur. Beautifully balanced from start to finish.


Hitting that low B over and over… finally builds at 2:50 and at 3:35 the shrieks hit, over a blues-simple swaying riff… so much reverb on the shrieking you’ll vacate your bowels… it takes its time, plays loose with the downbeat, it’s laid-back, late-night Satanic sludge metal.

I never thought I would write those words.

Clean, mournful vocals at 7:40… I’m still seeing pretty clearly the line from Delta blues to satanic heavy metal… Goddamn, this is very, very cool.

Listen here

Buy here

Bongripper, Satan Worshipping Doom

Bongripper are so utterly dedicated to doom metal conventions, so resistant to changing them, so insistent that they always be played the same way, that they end up being unique. Satan Worshipping Doom is utterly no-nonsense– not even as far as words go. And you’d think, diabolus in musica aside, there’s really very few forms of music that, without their lyrical content, are Satanic in and of themselves– these guys couldn’t even be bothered to produce something as untr00 as lyrics.

It’s hypnotic doom-cum-sludge, à la Sloath. It’s every generic riff you’ve ever heard in doom/stoner/sludge metal: i.e., the low to high octave (E to high E over and over), and the open chord to flatted fifth and back (like say, “Symptom of the Universe,” and literally every third metal riff)–




Those two versions of metal riffs.

But…! (And stay with me!)

It is GODDAMN cool.

Bongripper love those chord changes –and those chord changes only– and you can tell: because they rock the living shit out of them.

Like a fat old delta blues man who only plays, and only needs, a I-IV-V chord progression, Bongripper are fat old doom metal men– and those men only need the open chord on the bottom string, the octave of that, and the flatted fifth.

Behold! Blues in the 21st century.

There are four songs, none under 11 minutes. Here, in order, are their titles: “Hail,” “Satan,” “Worship,” and, lastly, “Doom.”

If you like one, you’ll love all. No individual song discussion necessary.

Go, the whole thing’s $5:

Ulysses-era James Joyce and his impromtu impressions of SepticFlesh’ The Great Mass

Sillie Billes: mob of young cubs yelling their guts out.

[Regarding “The Vampire of Nazareth”] Forthwith, choir boy opines messages of hopeful despair, the rumbling and noisome trucks in the background, then [at 0:45] the mammoth maw opines such gospel of death as to faint the older ladies in the pews… the music as thundering wagon-wheels in its repetitiveness in its repetitiveness in its repetitiveness

Note the strings ambling in the background…. angels hem and haw, awestruck aweSTRUCK at the devil’s choir that enters [at 3:00]— “We offer the sun…?” [Regarding “A Great Mass of Death”] thunder in a physical form, an arrogant demonic seduction– those horned ones know you want them and attempt not to try… [at 1:45] a human voice, then another, a lass, then those of the demonic again, and loud and louder and loudest

[On “Pyramid God”:] celestial harps fallen beyond light, the drunken raspish Satan sings a regret of sorts– it’s theatre, but done, and done, and done so the truthedness emerges as victorious in its battle of forces of language and lies–

[At 3:45:] now we’re quiet, but bouncing, and only that to get to the next slaughter– the wagon-wheel percussion* again– it ends, and the after-reverberation reminds him of the awfulness of good**

[Regarding “Five Pointed Star”:] Belial belching, dyspeptic.

[“Oceans of Grey”:]

–Up the boars!

–Three cheers for Spiros!

–We’ll hang Christos on a sourapple tree.

Old Sotiris started growling again at Bloom that was skeezing around the door.

[“The Undead Keep Dreaming”:] the quiet choir, the pounding outside the church front door– the chorus sounds worried, it does

[On “Rising”:] mourns something alien, and well beyond us kyrie eleison, Christie eleison***

[“Apocalypse”:] again the dyspeptic choir, its symphonic praise  [“Mad Architect”:] builds and builds its impending critical songs… and pounds, madly in time, a German conquest… [“Therianthropy”:] mad reviews of memory, those needed things gone– your cello demarcs its region of choice….

This is, in no means at all, Mozart’s Great Mass… or– only after he’s fallen fallen fallen way down beyond our views and those of the Frock….

And, as the Guinness departs the glass, he writes




*This seems to mean “blast beats.”
**Paradise Lost reference.
***Catholic/Episcopal Mass reference.