Archgoat - The Apocalyptic Triumphator - (9/10)
Published on January 15, 2015
A mere six years since their latest full length album, Finland’s masters of bestial and primal black/death metal return with the their third full length album, the aptly titled The Apocalyptic Triumphator. Archgoat has been one of the most consistent bands in the niche, never faltering or wavering in their devotion to the rebel angel or their commitment to playing ferocious metal. Formed in 1989, Archgoat released a pair of demos before unleashing their debut EP, Angelcunt (Tales of Desecration), in 1993; initially splitting up that same year. Eleven years later, the band reformed and picked up exactly where they left off. Since their reformation the band released two devastating full length albums, Whore of Bethlehem (2006) and The Light-Devouring Darkness (2009), amid a slew of splits and EP’s. Returning with their first full length is six years, The Apocalyptic Triumphator, Archgoat sets out to destroy all that is holy with a January 2015 release through Debemur Morti Productions.
With founding members Ritual Butcherer on guitars and Lord Angelslayer on bass and vocals joined once again by long-time drummer Sinisterror, The Apocalyptic Triumphator takes you through twelve tracks of primal, blasting blackness that Archgoat has been peddling since their formation. Archgoat brings two parts to their latest offering, with each side of the album containing a different path, The Right Hand Path or The Left Hand Path, each containing an intro track. Obviously this was designed with the intention of starting each side of the vinyl release, but, still, the album is also getting a CD version. The production is purposely murky, providing another element of savage darkness that suits Archgoat’s style so well. Those familiar with the band should find no surprises within.
Towards the beginning of the album, tracks like “Nuns, Cunts and Darkness” and “Grand Luciferian Theophany” show the band surging with a slower attack, full of simplistic yet heavy, crushing riffs and Lord Angelslayer’s gravelly, guttural growls from the abyss. At the other end of the spectrum, songs like “Congregation of Circumcised” and “Profanator of the 1st Commandment” bring savage, fast paced riffing and primal blasting drums. Archgoat has a knack for writing well paced albums, full of a wide range of tempos, and The Apocalyptic Triumphator doesn’t disappoint. Unlike some of their contemporaries, Archgoat is not content to just blast and destroy or writhe in plodding darkness, although they do both of those things exceedingly well. Seamlessly weaving the primordial swagger of proto black metal with the crushing heaviness of the Ross Bay scene and some of the most gravel-laden, demonic bellows ever recorded, Archgoat excel at crafting dark and evil music, plain and simple.
The Apocalyptic Triumphator fits perfectly next the band’s previous material. Frankly, they haven’t done anything differently than before, but perhaps that’s why it works so well. Alongside Beherit, Blasphemy and Black Witchery, Archgoat helped to craft that caustic combination of black and death metal that many often refer to as “war metal” or some similar nonsense. There is no reason that fans of any bands mentioned in this review should not go find this now. Paraphrasing the band; the black crusade continues against the religion of the weak. The Apocalyptic Triumphator shows why Archgoat gets the respect in the scene that they do; primal, savage and black as pitch. By doing what they’ve always done Archgoat has struck blackened gold once again.