Two years ago when we premiered a demo by these two German devastators we wrote:
“There is little risk that you will be deceived about the music we’re about to present. The band’s name is Goatblood. The demo is named Gasmask Devastation Terror. The artwork depicts a bullet-draped demonic form shrouded in eldritch energies and fire. Biohazard and radiation warning signs would probably have been superfluous….
“Their brand of black/death metal is lo-fi filth, a toxic and insidious stew of grim, buzzing riffs, pounding chords, and muffled, clattering percussion. Solos leap from this morass of malignancy like crazed vipers made of flame and plutonium. The vocals are a roaring, shrieking horror — merciless and hollow-hearted….
“Goatblood haven’t forgotten the appeal of dynamics — but they also never lose sight of their lethal mission, which is to assault the senses and mangle the mind until it can see nothing but an apocalyptic wasteland.”
Since we wrote those words, Goatblood have released a 2018 EP (Arma Inferre), and now they’re on the verge of discharging their third full-length through Dunkelheit Produktionen. Fittingly entitled Apparition of Doomsday, it will bury the old year on December 27th — but we have a full stream of all its multifarious and nefarious depredations today.
Goatblood haven’t softened their assaults one iota in the years since we last shared their music here, but that’s not to say that they haven’t continued to sharpen their blades. The new album is a more multifaceted and more powerfully produced affair than what has come before.
On the one hand, Goatblood show themselves supremely capable of launching brutal, primitive, toxically foul, and convincingly black-hearted onslaughts of sonic ruination. That becomes immediately apparent by the second track, “Goat Order”, whose methodically plundering drumwork, radioactive riffing, and horrific roars and howls devolve into the sodden and corrosive sounds of utter misery. Yet the same song inflicts roiling, skull-busting mayhem, revealing the kind of feeding-frenzy viciousness that kicks a listener’s pulse into overdrive.
The hybridization of stripped-down, bestial, Archgoat-esque lethality and rampant, full-throttle berserker blood-lust is an ever-present feature of the music on the album (along with a massive low-end). The guitar tone is filth-ridden and heavy as hell throughout, coated in a constantly vibrating distortion that gives the music a seething and diseased quality even when the band down-shift into the slow lane and drag the listener into charnal pits of doom and despair. The tone of the drums also constantly gives them a gut-slugging impact, just as the reverb on the changing array of grotesque vocals underscores their horrifying, otherworldly nature.
But as noted above, the band make the 46-minute experience of Apparition of Doomsday a changing trip (through Hell), not only by constantly varying the tempos and drum patterns but also by shifting the mood and atmosphere. The music includes tyrannical marches, lurching crawls through festering mass graves, methodically brutal beatings, episodes of meat-grinding cruelty, eruptions of violent thrashing lunacy accented by unhinged shrieking solos, and even bounding, punk-fueled romps — almost all of it judiciously laced with flickerings of eldritch melody.
It’s entirely possible to get thoroughly immersed in these changing onslaughts for the full album run, and to become electrified by them, but only if you have steel nerves and a taste for ugly, unrelenting, black/death bestiality, because while the moods and cadences may change as Goatblood veer from crushing your hopes to eviscerating your torso, it’s all nasty, abrasive, bone-breaking, unnerving, and fanatically devoted to darkness and devastation. In that sense there is no mercy nor any reprieve, only horrifying visions of doomsday.
Apparition of Doomsday was recorded by “Bone” in Kleve & Goch (Germany) and mixed and mastered by M. Dahmen at Liquid Aether Audio (also Germany). It includes artwork by Alan Corpse and layout and design by Mors.
Dunkelheit Produktionen will release the album in a variety of formats, and pre-orders can be placed now: