Goat Worship – Shore of the Dead (2018)

The sophomore full length from this Brazilian Black Metal act, “Shore of the Dead” is like stepping though a temporal gate. This is eight tracks of thrashy, old school Black Metal, very much in the vein of acts like Bathory and Venom. While it would be easy to dismiss Goat Worship as a nostalgia driven act, in a time where much of what defines the current mainstream black metal landscape bears little to no sonic or aesthetic resemblance to the genre’s forebears, they are a breath of fresh air. No pointless atmospherics, no pseudo-Post Rock affectations. Just fast and loose riffing and pounding, primal, insistent drumming. The kind of thing that sounds like it could fall apart at any second, like Black Metal often does when it is done properly. On the production side, it nice to hear that the band didn’t take this type of music into an overly sterile sonic territory. The guitars have a dirty, buzzsaw-like sound quality and the drums have that flat echo that came to define much classic Thrash and early Black Metal. It definitely goes a long way in selling this particular take on the genre. All in all, “Shore of the Dead” is a pleasing and unpretentious listen in the age of overproduced Post-Shoe-Blackgaze. The up-tempo opener “The Blood Countess,” the mid paced lilt of “The Burning of the Witches,” and the epic closing title track definitely stand out as highlights. It doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, and it definitely wears its influences on its sleeve, but if you’re in the mood for something with a decidedly “old school” bent, definitely check it out.

Score: 6.5/10

6.5

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