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Goatkraft - Angel Slaughter [Iron Bonehead Productions - 2018]

Goatkraft are newcomers to Norwegian black metal scene. They have one demo and this mini-album to their name thus far. Released by the German label Iron Bonehead Productions,  Angel Slaughter comes as either an MCD, 12"MLP, or digital download.

When reviewing an album of any project playing  such a massive and popular genre as black metal, comparisons are inevitable. This makes it easier to convey to the reader the approximate sound and style of a particular album or band. And it's very much the case with this release.

The cover of the album is a black and white drawing, and fittingly quite aggressive. In the middle of the ruins, among the human skulls stands Baphomet holding a chain and something like a fantasy weapon with jagged blades. Behind him are depicted naked angels (for some reason - female) impaled on stakes. At the top of the cover is the band logo, made in a stylized aggressive gothic style. The same font says the title of the album – Angel Slaughter.

The 19-minute mini-album consists of 6 tracks, the first of which is Intro, and the last one is a cover version of Black Witchery’s "Unholy Vengeance of War". Also on the album, there is a song "Goatkraft"from their demo.

Goatkraft gives us a sound that is not typical Scandinavian/ Norwegian, having more in common with old-school American black metal. As soon as the first song begins immediately comparisons arise. I'm getting the likes of  Black Witchery, Blasphemy, Profanatica, Havohej. And possibly hints of early Bathory and Celtic Frost, or even the early Impaled Nazarene.
The pace through-out is quite fast tempo, with low-tuned guitars, & pronounced bass. The almost complete absence of melody is compensated by hard, simple, almost death metal riffs. Vocals are fairly typical for black metal, though they are quite low and saturated with-in the mix.
There's no mysticism, moody paganism,  touches of melancholy, or pronounced atmosphere present here. Everything is rude, brutal, minimalistic and cruel. Verses match the selected style and the names of the tracks – "Angel Slaughter", "Goatkraft", "The Themple of Infernal Fire", "Holocaust Winds of Blasphemy". All hitting home the old school vibe of the album.
The mini-album is pretty easy to listen to. 19 minutes pass unnoticed, starting with almost 'noise' Intro and ending with the sounds of the last track. Though through-out Angel Slaughter I never really felt it  was that original,  often feeling like black metal recorded 20 years ago. Nostalgia is good, but sometimes there needs to be more than that to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps in order to create something original, you need to return to the roots… And serve an old traditional dish with a new sauce.....

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Sergey Pakhomov
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