Hit or Miss: Goatwhore ‘Blood For The Master’

Blood for the Master certainly seems like an album title that would catch someone’s attention. The fifth studio album from the death metal band Goatwhore has been released three years after the band’s last release and hit stores on Valentine’s Day.

Goatwhore’s latest album has an extreme sound that fits their “black death metal” genre well. Every song in its own way has strong melodic guitar riffs and drums that could stand alone and still make an overpowering attack on anyone’s inner musician. While elevating the overall feel from previous albums, Blood for the Master seems to pay respect to the band’s first album by going back to the “hard punk” sound they originally had on the first record Eclipse of Ages into Black* while most songs continue on with the progression of previous works.

The single “Collapse in Eternal Worth” shows the small amount of progression in this band. The drums are almost rough, but it complements the sound of the lyrics well. The high screech of the guitar picks up the songs from feeling too depressing, which balances out the overall feeling of the record.

Since the release of their first album, it doesn’t seem as if the band has bothered to change up their sound at all. Each album sounds like a more metal version of the last. They are just taking the music up one more level, making it more extreme than the last and leaving the progression at that.

However, some aspects of the albums have changed. Lead vocalist Louis Benjamin has more of a range in his voice and doesn’t scream throughout the entire album like before. While his voice is almost always in a deep tone, rough growls and almost mysterious sounding verses are sprinkled throughout Blood for the Master.

These are the only major changes though. Other than this album being faster, Goatwhore didn’t seem to want to try much of anything new and did their usual “one step up route” to make Blood for the Master more intense. This shouldn’t be anything new to fans because this is just their usual routine. For those who are new to the band, listening to basically the same album five times could become rather tedious.

Their first album in fact seemed to lay down the foundation for their current sound. It didn’t have as much of a hardcore metal influence as future records would and compared to the albums like Carving Out the Eyes of God and Blood for the Master, the first album just seemed too raw and unfinished. Like many others, Goatwhore has taken that sound and ran with it. Just compare the song “Nocturnal Holocaust” from The Eclipse and “Apocalyptic Havoc” from the band’s fourth album Carving Out the Eyes of God.

It’s clear that Goatwhore has an “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude when it comes to their sound. While Blood for the Master seems to be a continuation of the last album, there’s no leniency in the amount of energy and passion behind what they do.