Review: Archgoat “Worship The Eternal Darkness” [Debemur Morti Productions]

Review: Archgoat “Worship The Eternal Darkness” [Debemur Morti Productions]

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In late November Debemur Morti Productions have released fifth studio album Worship The Eternal Darkness of Finnish black/death metal legends Archgoat. So, 40 minutes of absolute purity of black metal spirit with death metal aggression is a reasonable compensation for three years of waiting.

Archgoat was one of the first bands who made an underground trend for death/black metal with punk attitude and thrash metal structures. And with the northern sophistication (like at a genetic level) even the messiness doesn’t lack melodic lines; the whole spirit of the album is almost ascetic – no over-complications, no extra details, so pure, so pertinent. The twin brothers Lord Angelslayer and Ritual Butcher have founded Archgoat in 1988, and for five years they have released only two EPs and one split with Beherit. After disbanding in 1993, they’ve decided to resurrect Archgoat in 2004 returning back to the realm of black metal and spreading the violence and Satanic beliefs on a new level. With every new record these Finnish blasphemers have managed to stay true to their roots, but not in a drooling nostalgia of old school obsolescence.

Worship The Eternal Darkness is a robust and solid record, not too overwhelmingly fast and with some slow, almost doomy passages. These lingering slowdowns allure on esoteric atmosphere with bell-like sounds, so typical for funeral atmosphere of ancient doom metal (especially on songs “All Christianity Ends”, “Empyrean Armageddon” and “Burial of Creation”). Ritualistic atmosphere isn’t a rare phenomenon for these blackish deathsters; they use these occult tricks in order to strengthen anti-Christian spirit in their own unholy way.

The musicians of Archgoat aren’t familiar with progressivity and technical wonders, they prefer monotonous primitivism and repetitive melodies with simple structures. Emotionally speaking, the force is concentrated in low and war-like growls and malevolent and jittery black metal guitar riffs. The dirty sound doesn’t create too much messiness; this rawness is deliberate to highlight the underground feeling and to pay tribute to old spirit of black/death metal. Archgoat knows well about evil merriness, some kind of savage atmosphere on thrash foundation, full of black profane joy of anti-Christian craziness, like on “Rats Pray God”. But generally this black/death/thrash metal base is constant here, without experiments or extra moves. The only reprieve the listener can get from the first creepy “Intro” and the last minute of the closing track “Burial of Creation” with synthetic ambient ending. Yes, Archgoat have never even considered to soften their sound or to shift into more philosophical and calmer realm of social issues, so, better to prepare ourselves for 40 minutes of pure satanic black/death metal.

Black/death metal scene doesn’t welcome avant-garde currents, Archgoat created this trend along such bands as Blasphemy or Beherit, rapidly opening door to a phenomenon called war metal (especially favored by Brazilian extreme bands like Sarcófago). But this is not about clichés or old school attitude, Archgoat just follows their own rules, worshipping the sacred black metal code. And everything here is soaked in this law of honor from graphic artwork with satanic scenes and dirty sound to raw and primitive hymns of death.

Release date: November 26, 2021

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