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Hellgoat - Death Conquers All

Hellgoat
Death Conquers All
by Louise Brown at 19 June 2019, 5:33 AM

HELLGOAT formed in Atlanta, Georgia during 2004. During the course of their career they've managed to release 14 recordings consisting of demos, EPs, splits and full-length albums. The selection featured in my review today is "Death Conquers All" which was originally released in 2011.

The album has its good moments and its bad moments. As a fan of primarily European Black Metal I confess I'm not as fond of it as I might be otherwise. My biggest complaint with some Black Metal bands from the USA as well as South America is their tendency to develop a formula that they follow for nearly every single one of their songs. There's not much variation from it, either, which always makes me wonder if the band in question is too timid to push themselves a bit further creatively, or if it's just a case of "Well, this works so let's just stick with it and call it good." Either way it's a let-down from a music fan's point of view. As a reviewer it's irritating because it means that the enthusiasm level for the material being reviewed goes away quickly as monotony sets in.

"Slay The Lamb" does an effective job of starting the album. It's a track full of brutality fueled by furiously fast percussion and angry vocals that are basic prerequisites for any decent Black Metal composition. "Barren Eden" has some excellent guitar riffs that are heavy and dark as they play throughout the track. They go especially well with more of that rapid-fire percussion and a solid bass-line that provides a good frame for the vocals once they begin. I really appreciate the break featured about halfway through the song; it is slow and down-tuned, giving it just the right somber tone before the song speeds up again. Unfortunately, "Summon Him," "Upon The Hill Of Megiddo," and "Pit Of The Serpent" all suffer from sounding alike; evidence of that formula I made reference, too. They're not terrible songs, but the lack of variety makes them something most fans are likely to skip over once they've discovered their flaw.

"Warmarch Anthem" is somewhat better since it starts out differently with harsh vocals that take over the track immediately as well as a more melodic tone and pace. The added Thrash Metal elements improve the song quite a bit more, too. In short, the song is better than some others simply because an effort was to give it a character all its own rather than making it a carbon-copy featuring "The Formula." However, just when it looks like there's a change in direction taking place things go right back to more of the same with "Feast Of The Goat".  Luckily, "Behold The Tempter Speaks" and "March Of The Corpse Rats" have few original touches in each of them that helps them to avoid sounding so predictable. The final track "Ordained By The Master's Hand" also falls victim to the dreaded formula, making it one track that you could safely skip altogether without missing anything.

"Death Conquers All" isn't the worst album I've reviewed so far. If you like basic American-style Black Metal then you'll probably like the album. If you're a more demanding Metal fan then you should probably avoid it because you'll find yourself wondering what could have been if the band had taken more risks musically. While the music featured on the album probably has more impact during a live performance it's simply not as entertaining on its own as something to listen to since certain elements are missing.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4


 

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Slay The Lamb
2. Barren Eden
3. Summon Him
4. Upon The Hill Of Megiddo
5. Pit Of The Serpent
6. Warmarch Anthem
7. Feast Of The Goat
8. Behold The Tempter Speaks
9. March Of The Corpse Rats
10. Ordained By Our Master's Hand
Lineup:
Amon Demogorgon-  Vocals, Bass
Vaedis-  Guitar
Atheos-  Drums
Record Label: Pale Horse Recordings
     


Rating

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Edited 18 July 2019
 

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