Vengeful and spirited, Goatwhore are consistently causing the blood to rush again with Vengeful Ascension, which provides for yet another intense and piercing experience. Though Goatwhore’s roots are still holding firm, they have broken new ground this time around by featuring tense intros that build, much like that heard in the album’s opener. Goatwhore take small steps away from their formula, allowing it to grow ever-so slightly, while at the same time remaining true to their reliant and cherished sound from their relentless attitude to their ferocious tracks that refuse to let up. What they do will pummel your mind and crush your soul, but their vicious, unforgiving nature is always welcome and celebrated in full. You get that this time around, but the tracks are full of more dynamism, creating a record that though familiar is still slightly new to even the most die-hard of Goatwhore fans.
Opening up the record is “Forsaken,” which rolls in ominously with a tribal-like drum beat, building tension and raising your anticipation for the insanity that’s about to ensue. These sludgy, unassuming riffs suddenly rip into your existence, creating a raging amount of energy within you. Pair that with the assailing drums, and you have a track that very quickly transports you into the thick of battle. But though Goatwhore’s opener is furious, it is more calculated than before, knowing exactly when to hit you when you least expect it the most. Carrying on with that same momentum is “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul,” which has more Southern grit than its predecessor and one brief, yet wailing, guitar solo that is perfectly placed within the track. Dropping down into a more comfortable groove is “Vengeful Ascension,” which leads you into the darkness with its doom-filled, subtle brutality. We’ve had many moments to witness the talent of Goatwhore thus far, but nothing quite hits you like the next track, “Chaos Arcane,” which is where the album really starts to go berserk and proves to be one of the strongest efforts on the entire record.
From there we have songs like “Mankind Will Have No Mercy,” which is an absolute thrasher. The drum work, in particular, really stands out alongside Ben Falgoust‘s wicked roars and the unstoppable power of the guitars. This is a track that, like many others before it, has no mercy. Ending this throat-grabber of a record is the extreme, “Those Who Denied God’s Will,” which showcases a strong emphasis on a more blackened atmosphere and hangs over you like a looming dark aura. All in all, it ends the record on an extremely strong note by displaying all the elements that have made Goatwhore one of the most reliable, solid bands out there. When it comes down to it, Vengeful Ascension may not the best Goatwhore album ever released, but it is a killer record that provides for one hell of a good time. Unrelenting as ever, Goatwhore are proving yet again as to why they are such an incredible force to be reckoned with.
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