Goatwhore - Vengeful Ascension (Metal Blade Records) 2017
The first few seconds of Vengeful Ascension foretell a different path for Goatwhore. Contrary to the initial assault that typically greets the ears, a softly building drum intro becomes “Forsaken,” which departs from the full-blast speed of past album openers.
The beloved avalanche of riffs and intensity arrives on “Chaos Arcane” and is just as quickly disrupted by the fantastical doom and haunt of “Where the Sun is Silent.” Goatwhore tends to throw listeners a slower song toward the second half of their records, but Vengeful Ascension is scattered with tempo changes and sounds that wander from their usual blackened death and thrash.
Satisfying existing fans while incorporating new elements to entice others, Goatwhore, now in its 20th year of existence, is still evolving. Whether due to the band exploring other influences or changing producers, Vengeful Ascension is a stand-out in their impeccable discography.