ARCHGOAT – Heavenly Vulva (Christ’s Last Rites) EP
Of all the bands out there playing bestial, primitive Black Metal, Archgoat probably rank top for me. While the bludgeoning beats and guttural, almost grindcore vocals add intensity and demonstrate a supreme will to tear down all that is holy, it is the groove-laden slower sections that really plunge in the sacrificial dagger, making these guys an act I turn to when all else fails to light my black candles.
“Heavenly Vulva ” then, as a completely typical Archgoat offering, should perform dark miracles. This is not the case, however. There are two main problems as I see it. The first is that if this is taken as one of many Archgoat records you’ve heard, then there will be little in the way of surprises. In fact, it really is just more of the same and even though the slower sections still work a treat, the faster parts tend to be a bit samey. We know that in music if you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards, and that is what Archgoat are in danger of here.
The second problem is that this release only contains somewhere in the region of 15 minutes music (barring a short intro that I skip after the first time). My standard for EP’s is a high one: “Flag of Hate” by Kreator, featuring the title track, “Take Their Lives” and “Awakening of the Gods”. This is what I feel an EP can aspire to. Because a band is only coming up with 15 to 20 minutes music, we should expect a standard even higher than we’d find on an album. Maybe some of you don’t agree, but seriously, if this is the best Archgoat can produce after 2 years, then we might have a problem.
For those who feel I’ve judged this one harsly, please remember that Archgoat are a band I revere, so I will react strongly to anything I see that falls short of perfection and that even with the faults listed, this EP is still a prime slab of vulva. Raise the horns!