Review: Goatchrist – She Who Holds the Scrying Mirror

Posted: November 21, 2014 in Demo Review, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Goatchrist hail from Halifax, which is probably the least metal sounding place in Britain. Probably. Would you expect a hatred tornado of blackened death metal carnage to come from a place that boasts the Eureka Centre? No. But, thankfully, Goatchrist are a very promising prospect in the UK underground.

Their debut record, ‘She Who Holds the Scrying Mirror’, starts with the obligatory slow burn intro, complete with the whisper of fire and a building, chugging riff. It then ignites and explodes into a maelstrom of firebrand riffing and shrieking vocals. Pretty cool way to start off your opening track, and ‘Through Flames We Invoke Him’ is a suitably strong mission statement for the rest of the record. Sixsixsix Music is reissuing this from earlier in the year, when it was a one man project of guitarist/vocalist Dominator Xul’Ahabra, a 16 year old. Yes, this raging, rasping record of hurricane force black metal and thunderous death metal was mainly recorded and written by one 16 year old. Fuck. Me.

Whereas the atmosphere and vocal performance is definitely more black metal, the heavy low end rings true with classic old school death metal. There’s no widdly tech death carnage here, just good solid thick riffs that underpin the howling vocal. There’s some cool solos in here too, particularly in the opener. ‘Catacombs’ has a more malignant feel to it; a simmering malevolence that comes through swaying Immolation riffs and inhuman screams. There’s also a squalling ‘controlled chaos’ guitar solo in this that rips as well.

The album continues to show off a startling maturity, from the riffing majesty of ‘The Four Horsemen’ to the duelling leads of ‘Bloodletting (Part 1)’. From the scathing title track that adds some proper atmospheric black metal, reminscient of Drudkh to the proceedings to the brutal death attack of ‘Fatal Equinox’, Goatchrist have many strings to their bow, and execute them all with precision and passion. This is a late contender for one of my favourite records this year. Essential stuff.

  1. Krieg McStabhappy says:

    Least metal place in Britain? Er, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Doom, Vallenfyre, The Prophecy….

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