“Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, for he has kept it in business all these years.” – Anton LaVey, The Satanic Bible

It seems to me that LaVey succeeded in hitting the proverbial nail squarely on the head with the above statement. The so-called “good guys” can bitch and moan from sunrise ‘til sunset about the nuisance of the allegedly negative, opposing forces in their lives, but in the end, it just poses one very sensible question: Why do they complain about the one thing that apparently saves them from the cold, unforgiving clutches of boredom and, more importantly, the unemployment line? I mean, we’ve been bombarded with proof of this notion from day one, other than perhaps the most obvious battle between the Christian god and that fallen angel we all know and love. He-Man would’ve just been sitting around in the confines of Castle Greyskull, trying to find new muscles to enlarge if it weren’t for the devious schemes of Skeletor and his minions. Without the ever-present, deadly threat of the Decepticons, the Autobots would simply be a bunch of overpriced vehicles with a goddamn ton of unnecessary bells and whistles. Without Vader, Luke Skywalker would’ve probably just inherited his uncle’s farm on Tatooine, and died in the desert a miserable, pathetically lonely nerfherder. And just think of all the utterly pointless movie scripts, if horror villains like Freddy Kruger and Jason Vorhees were never created. That’d mean way too many sequels where co-ed camping and after-school naps were completely harmless.

Luckily, shit ain’t like that. No, on this plane of reality, there have always been those that question those good guys wearing white. I’m talking about those willing to break the proverbial peace, grinning from ear to ear…those willing to rip the crucifix right from the wall and invert the motherfucker before aggressively shoving it directly up the self-righteous ass of any do-good, bible-thumping asshole that’s unfortunate enough to get in the way. I’m talking about fearless hell-raisers like the infamous New Orleans blackened death quartet, Goatwhore!

Founded in 1997 by Sammy Duet ( former guitarist for legendary New Orleans sludge demons, Acid Bath) Goatwhore now consists of Duet, vocalist Ben Falgoust (also of Soilent Green fame), Zack Simmons (ex-Nachtmystium), and James Harvey (Ritual Killer), and has since unleashed five full-length records. The latest of which, Blood For The Master (Metal Blade), continues the band’s vicious mission of blackened death atrocity in gloriously grim fashion.

Where some of their contemporaries seem to just go through the  more routine black or death metal motions and call it a day, Goatwhore have once again upped the fucking ante, iron fist intact, with the ten guillotine-sharp numbers herein. Masterfully produced by Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios, the likes of “When Steel and Bone Meet”, and “Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word” are immediate highlights, conjuring cloud of blackened thrash lunacy not soon to be forgotten. “In Deathless Tradition” injects a raging groove amidst a gruesomely-fashioned tale of hellish torment. The majestic intro (and ensuing riff cyclone) of “Embodiment of this Bitter Chaos” (which features a solo in its intro by Mr. Rutan) should send any listener back to the early ‘90’s with an ear-to-ear grin on their face. This is the kind of shit these dudes have made their own, with no mercy! Some of the once-revered and respected “heroes” of extreme music have thrown their past success into the gutter in an effort to “try something new” (i.e. the recent decline of Morbid Angel), and simultaneously shit on themselves and their fans in the process. Meanwhile, Goatwhore have decided to instead master the venomous formula they started with, and let the bastard gradually grow more teeth with every blasphemous note. I mean, from where I’m standing…Blood For The Master has it all: blood, guts, death, the violent destruction of the Pearly Gates, and a solid presence of “the man downstairs.”  That should most definitely be enough to keep the “good guys” busy for a while. Here’s hoping they choke on all this evil!