I view Goatwhore as an old and loyal friend. They are someone you know will always come around to see you. They'll never really change that much. And you pretty much know what to expect to them. Goatwhore's eight full length record, Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven is the Goatwhore you continue to rely on and go back to. I didn't expect much to change from Goatwhore with this new record and I'm delighted to say that much hasn't short of a few welcome new sounds when it comes to solos and some minor tweaks to song structures.
The cadence, phrasing and delivery that we've come to love from lead vocalist Ben Falgoust is still ever-so-present on songs like the title track and the blistering "Born of Satan's Flesh." Falgoust and guitarist and vocalist Sammy Duet trade vocal riffs just like they did the first time you heard them. Though I will say that the sprinkling of some gang vocals on "Death from Above" is a nice touch.
Everyone in the band has something new to contribute but not enough to overwhelm and change the sound. For example, the cymbal work from drummer Zack Simmons adds just a little extra flavor on "Victory is the Lightning of Destruction" and Duet alters his vocal sound here and there. The guitar solo on "The Devil's Warlords" also introduces some new sonics.
"Weight of a Soulless Heart" brings you right back to the earlier days of the band with sounds and structure reticent of their early 2000's records. Nice depth of sound here and appropriate emphasis on the low end, which is aptly brought to the surface by bassist T.A. Coleman. Coleman has been the touring bassist since 2014 but he moves into recording duties as well with this new record.
The record is produced with Jarrett Pritchard, who's probably the best producer in metal right now so you know right the beginning that's it's going to sound perfect. Kurt Ballou also came in on production and gave some insight on song structures. This is a first for Goatwhore and Ballou clearly provided significant value added.
Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven proves yet again that one of the hardest working bands in metal can continue to impress us with their tried and true brand of blackened extremity. Nothing experimental here. Nothing slowing it down. It's exactly what you expected and in a world where everything is changing all the time, it's exactly what you very well might need.