The Eclipse of Ages Into Black

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Goatwhore's lineup includes folks who have played with noted Louisiana metal bands Crowbar (Sammy Duet), Soilent Green (Ben Falgoust, Ben Stout), and Acid Bath (Duet again). However, The Eclipse of Ages Into Black is pretty far removed from any of those bands; this is Goatwhore's version of the sort of stripped-down black metal usually associated with European acts like Bathory, Celtic Frost, or Darkthrone. The lyrics dwell on darkness, Satan, etc., while the production has a raw, under-produced quality (i.e., little bass or treble, near-ambient guitar distortion) that seems intent on emphasizing atmosphere over sheer heaviness. Falgoust and Duet's vocals are mainly done in a sickly, mewling rasp very much in keeping with the genre, with the former also adding some somber, half-spoken passages here and there. The band spends most of its time dodging in and out of stop-start grindcore blasts, evil hardcore punk riffs, and the occasional slower melodic breakdown, but occasionally shifts gears into a mid-tempo shuffle that shows Goatwhore's Southern roots (however European the band's inspirations may be). One exception to the overall norm is "Invert the Virgin," which comes across more like a fist-pumping hard rock tune, albeit one dressed up in spiked armbands and a bullet belt. As for the songwriting, there are a few less-than-memorable moments on the album but, on the whole, The Eclipse is a convincing take on the black metal genre, done from a perspective that's certainly different from the norm.

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