“Goat Worship, a one-man black metal project operated by the likes of Brazilian musician Hades, attempts to put itself in line with the Brazilian spirit of extreme metal.”
Hall of the Dead
Only the Strong Will Survive
God of Thunder
Goddess of Lust
Religion of Lies
Brazil has always been home to some fast, sloppy, insane bands. From as far back as Sarcofago and Sepultura and still being pushed today by the likes of Power from Hell, amongst many others. Goat Worship, a one-man black metal project operated by the likes of Brazilian musician Hades, attempts to put itself in line with the Brazilian spirit of extreme metal. Following 2015’s Doomsday EP, Blood and Steel stands as the full-length debut of Goat Worship, a release that reeks of the worship of old-school Bathory and Venom.
A brief intro consisting mostly of brass and horn swells gives way to the first proper track of Blood and Steel, ‘Falklands War’. ‘Falklands War’ has a hardcore punk aesthetic to it, coupled with proto-metal riffing stuck somewhere between Hellhammer and Bathory. The arrangement is essentially a cycle of stripped down riffs, played at unhinged speeds, chased by manic drumming. Hades belts out vocals that teeter between snotty speed metal and Tom G. Warrior stubbing his toe on his way to the pisser in the middle of the night. The riffs on ‘Falklands War’, and throughout Blood and Steel, are forthright, mechanical, and tightly packed together. Single note palm muting, blaring chords, and throwback progressions, with little concern given to any techniques other than speed.
The Falklands Conflict was a ten-week military confrontation in 1982 between the United Kingdom and Argentina. Over 900 soldiers were killed in that period. History.
‘Hall of the Dead’ continues with formula exposed in ‘Falklands War’. Stripped down riff phrases alternate among themselves while stylistically speed metal percussion patterns attempt to anchor the whole thing. Faster tracks on Blood and Steel such as ‘Falklands War’, ‘Hall of the Dead’, ‘God of Thunder’, and others, have more in common, both musically and thematically, with the earliest releases from Bathory, Venom, and Onslaught as opposed to current-era material that is passing itself as ‘black thrash’ or ‘blackened (x)(y)’ or whatever the proper scientific terminology is.
‘Cremation Funeral’ starts with a riff that could pass as the bastard offspring of Slayer’s ‘The Final Command’. ‘Only the Strong Survive’ is aesthetically comparable to something akin to Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark. The back half of Blood and Steel ranges from the high-speed barrage of ‘God of Thunder’ to the more anthem-like closer ‘Helheim’.
Production on Blood and Steel is straightforward. Drums come out with a certain basement quality to them and the guitars sound almost as if they were hooked directly into a recording console, with a grainy but noticeably digitized distortion with no accents attached to it, such as reverb or chorus. Vocals are front and center but don’t suffocate or dominate the overall sound.
Blood and Steel does come off as rushed in some occasions. Songs like ‘Helheim’ and ‘Only the Strong Survive’ possess large amounts of negative space which makes the songs feel empty. More frantic songs sometimes slip out of time during transitions or fills between musical phrases. Blood and Steel, at times, feels more like a demo than a proper full-length, however, this is subjective and shouldn’t bear too much importance.
Blood and Steel lacks the cosmetic, superficial flair of modern-day acts such as Midnight or Toxic Holocaust but never really ventures into that region or signals interest in it. Goat Worship have junked modern black metal and thrash down to the foundation and the frame and play from that approach. While Blood and Steel does not attempt to reinvent the wheel, or innovate, quite the opposite actually, it is a good indication of where Goat Worship has the capability to go. Just like Bathory evolved from their self-titled debut to Under the Sign of the Black Mark, Goat Worship can continue to refine and evolve from Blood and Steel to whatever is next and generate some great things.