Urgehal

Goat Craft Torment

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AllMusic Review by

Apparently the Norwegian black metal scene has been fragmented and contaminated enough that when a veteran band like Urgehal releases a new album they have to advertise the brand. On the jewel box spine it states "Satanic Black Metal." And, as if that weren't enough, on the back of the booklet it claims "Norsk Satanisk Black Metal." Finally, the ever corpse-painted vocalist Trondr Nefas yowls at the beginning of the opening title track, "This is Satanic black metal!" before the cut starts. (Perhaps he thought fans couldn't read?) In any case, if you are a fan of blastbeats, big showy riffs, messed-up rhythmic changes and cookie monster vocals, you'll dig this. Released by Southern Lord in the United States (it was issued in Europe in 2005) Goat Craft Torment is well recorded, (which is a far cry form this band's early records, and even further from Mayhem and Burzum, or even Emperor for that matter) and full of memorable riffs and songwriting concerned with the usual themes. That's tough to say, actually; it seems there should be new ways to rail against Christianity, and all things evil. That caveat emptor aside, the music here is actually very imaginative, and Urgehal have foregone the changes that many of their peers have succumbed to: don't look for progressive elements, long gloomy keyboard lines, or flutes on this set. This is pure blast and burn from beginning to end. It kicks ass, actually. The winding power riffs and the drumming are especially hard to believe. For those in favor of the original brand-name black metal, this is for you.

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