“Carving out the Eyes of God” is the follow-up to their stellar 2006 release “A Haunting Curse.” This album picks up where the previous album left off, continuing Goatwhore’s long tradition of combining multiple musical styles to form their own unique sound. If you are a fan of Goatwhore, you can tell them instantly, even if you haven’t heard a particular track.
Goatwhore’s sound is pretty hard to put into a category, so I won’t even try. I will say that there is a lot of thrash, grindcore, death metal, and black metal involved in the sound. The black metal influence is mainly in the lyrics, as there isn’t a tremendous amount of tremolo picking or blast beats. It should also be noted that there are no synthesizers, as in symphonic black metal.
The album was produced by Erik Rutan, guitarist/vocalist of Hate Eternal and former member of Morbid Angel, who has produced tons of bands, most notably Cannibal Corpse’s albums Kill and Evisceration Plague. Erik Rutan is, rightfully, in heavy demand as the go-to producer for heavy bands and his work on this album proves that he should be.
I would say that the major influence on the sound of this album is Celtic Frost, as the slower tempo riffs sound very much like old-style Celtic Frost. Guitarist Sammy Duet, from the legendary New Orleans band Acid Bath, has stated that he is a big fan of Celtic Frost and the influence is definitely on display here, as with previous Goatwhore albums. In addition to the old-style Celtic Frost riffs, there is a dose of black metal-style tremolo picking, but it is not overused. I am glad that this is the case, as too many blast beats and tremolo riffs are not to my taste.
The singer, Ben Falgoust (also the singer for Soilent Green), does his usual outstanding job delivering his anti-Christian lyrics, which are, as always, a step above average. Lyrically, Goatwhore is quite anti-Christian/Satanic, but that doesn’t mean that the lyrics are inane or stupidly reactionary, as is too often the case with anti-Christian/Satanic lyrics. Ben Falgoust has a way with words and does what he does, in my opinion, better than anyone else writing his style of lyrics.
The bass and drums are very solid and hold the whole package together perfectly. The drumming is, thankfully, restrained at most points and this helps the music have more power. Sometimes fewer notes have more power and the guys seem to understand this.
Bottom line: Highly recommended for anyone who likes thrash, grindcore, death metal, or non-symphonic black metal (early Bathory, Venom).