Eclipse of Ages Into Black
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2005
Since the black metal hayday of the early 1990's, most black metal bands have split off into two camps(There are exceptions such as Immortal). There is either the new, modern, well-produced, death and progressive influnced black metal; or the necro, Bathory-esque, minmialistic black metal bands. As a result, the two major complaints about current black metal bands of extreme metal fans who hear both styles are that they either lack the depressing and gloomy atmoshpere that separates black metal from other genres, or they lack diversity and fail to distinguish themselves from the many other bands.

This album is the solution to these problems. It is an extremely diverse album, yet does not sacrifice the depressing, yet aggressive atmosphere prevalent on albums such as Under a Funeral Moon or Pure Holocaust. I have NEVER heard a black metal album that mixes these two traits so well(Immortal's-ATHOW is an excellent album, but has a different type of atmosphere). This lies in many factors. One is the vocals. Ben Falgoust is an extremely talented black metal vocalist, who can switch from black, to death, to doom vocals all within the same song. His shrieks and low growls are convincing and placed well within each song. Furthermore, his actual singing has two traits that other bands lack. 1) It is good, unlike Attila from Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas". 2) It has a depressing and sad sound, and is not whiney or annoying, unlike Vortex of Dimmu Borgir.

Another great aspect of this album is the drumming. It goes from grind, to thrash, to death, to doom, and even throws in a rock beat on "Invert The Virgin." This goes a long way in adding to the variety from song to song and helps carry the listener through the album without boredom. Likewise, the bass is well-placed, and sounds good when it comes to the forefront.

However, the best part of this album are the guitar riffs. Again, they are diverse, yet they add an extra dimension to Goatwhore by providing the gloomy atmosphere and separates Goatwhore from other genre-mixing black metal bands. There are so many good riffs that it is impossible to mention them all, so I will go over a few. For example, if anyone wants to know what a black metal riff is, have them listen to "Upon This Deathbed of Cold Fire." From about the 1:30 mark on, you get what are, in my opinion early-Darkthrone/early-Immortal quality riffs. Yes, they are that good. Simple in structure, yet complex in their emotional structure, which is both depressing and angry. Then, there are great sludge riffs on "Invert The Virgin." "Nocturnal Holocaust and Path To Apocalyptic Ruin" have tremendous death-metal type riffs, while "As The Reflection Slowly Faces" has great doom-metal riffs and note picking which is further emphasized by Falgoust's tremendous vocals.

I could rave about this album forever. The production is crisp, yet not flat, and even the lyrics are better than typical balck metal bands. In short, it has a great deal of diversity, yet mixes it all together without eliminating the traits of any of its various styles(Unfortunately, their later album is guilty of this.) For black metal fans, or any extreme metal fans that enjoy diversity in their music, this is simply a must buy. Period.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2000
goatwhore is an amazing band composed of members of acid bath, soilent green, etc. their music is full of devilish rage and this cd is a must have for any black metal fan. if you ever get a chance to see these guys perform live, you should check them out cause they put on an awesome show.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2002
OK, it starts of like this. Goatwhore is opening for GWAR, i'm not much of a GWAR fan, but dying to see their live show. Goatwhore and God Forbid are the openers. I know God Forbid, but nothing of Goatwhore ( i love their name!),amazons cheesy little sample of The Beauty in Suffering made me decide to hear this whole CD. Went out and bought it (as i was buying the GWAR tickets) and have been amazed ever since. EVIL - nice and evil. And, i don't know jack about their previous bands so this is from a whole new ear.
So, i'm going to SEE GWAR, bt i'm WAY more exited about seeing (and hearing) GOATWHORE!!
GOATWHORE!!
Fave 2: Invert the Virgin, and Under a Dark God - The whole CD is great.
Hail SATAN - HAIL GOATWHORE.
now
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
I notice with alot of these reviews they compare this band either by European Black Metal Bands or other projects they are in to determine the style of this band.Here's how I see it personally.These guys totally brought back the sprit of old black metal and I'm not talkin Circa 1991.I'm Talkin about Hellhammer,Venom,Bathory,That was straightforward black metal dude.But what I like about this band is they take the influences of these bands,and put in a little modern flavor of their own bands for what I feel is a awesome record that recaptures the spirit of old school black metal but in a very original, modern way without being totally retro sounding.I think you'll like this record if you are into any of the above bands but into newer stuff and not a total 80's black metal cave dweller.New one is great also.But it's my opinion so check em out.ALSO THESE GUYS RULE LIVE!! SEE THEM!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2009
Every year when the fall comes around and the atmosphere starts to get cold and grim I find myself coming back to this album over and over again. I saw goatwhore back around 2004 and immediately bought this album after seeing their live performance. They really put out their own brand of black metal with this album while drawing influences and paying homage to all the classics (particularly bathory and a little bit of celtic frost) The lyrics are solid, very dreary and at times metaphysical in a sense. The clean vocals reflect this dreary tone perfectly and the screams are just perfect for this brand of black metal. Each and every song is killer on this album, unfortunately, goatwhore has not come close to touching this album since.

I heard a few songs off of funeral dirge.... but nothing touches this one. This goes especially for their new material, they have completely changed up their sound and it seems like they have no original ideas left which is very disappointing because this was a truly unique and extremely solid black metal album. If your just getting into goatwhore completely disregard what new material you have heard from them, pick up this album, it is a one of a kind even among the bands other releases.

The riffs are memorable, vocals are distinct, drumming is quick and furious, etc. Perfect album really. If you like old school black metal but want to hear an original and new take on it pick this up. Once again, a damn shame they couldnt follow this sound a little more, and what goatwhore is doing now is truly disappointing compared to this gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2003
whoever said this album sucked should be hung. oh my god.. this album doesnt EVER get boring from beginning to end. in the beginning, it is a little slow, which is why when i bought this album i put it down for a while. once i picked it up and ventured into songs past 5 or 6, the doors opened to my new favorite band!
they go from pummeling grindcore, to groovy southern death metal, to hardcore punk. than from that, they add in extremely beautiful and dark melodies that give you a chill up your spine when you listen to them. black metal at its finest and without the keyboards. the production is awesome, by the way. it's not bassy, its not sharp, its just plain, kind of like they wanted to show the atmosphere more than their unrelenting brutality.
they mix dark melodies with sheer heavines.. and for me at least.. it worked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2007
I say before you listen to any tracks on this CD, stick it in and skip to track 11 and then listen to track 12. Tack 11 is just very short, and should be their theme song "All Hail the Ancient Goat!" It makes me want to scream it at everyone I pass on the street. Track 12 is surprisingly original. Listen to that harmony. One of the riffs in the middle of the song sounds like an impression of Gregorian Monks humming, but it's black metal guitar. The rest of the album is filled with "catchy" tunes that I want to listen to over and over again. But trust me on the Track 11-12 thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2002
Folks from Soilent Green and other New Orleans metal bands (Acid Bath, I believe, being one of them) playing fairly typical but nonetheless exciting black metal. Soilent's creativity (odd time signatures, etc.) crosses over quite well.
This album would probably make a perfect excuse for fans of hardcore to get into black metal. All of the progressive tendencies of the genre, with none of the silly theatrics that tends to keep most potential fans at a distance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
New Orleans' Goatwhore are rooted in the ashes of seminal Southern sludge metallers Acid Bath. Frontman Sammy Duet seemingly brushed off the sudden and tragic death of that group's bassist (Audie Pitrie) in 1997 by forming a new one almost right away. Goatwhore was also rounded out by several other very competent, well-known, and/or experienced musicians. Main vocalist Ben Falgoust comes from Soilent Green and Paralysis fame; guitarist Ben Stout also spent time playing with Soilent Green; you might remember drummer Zak Nolan from his other band, Ritual Killer; and bassist Patrick Bruders would later go on to become a member of Crowbar. The quintet started demoing in the year 1999, and kicked out a first full-length in 2000. And in the nine years that have passed since then, they have certainly established themselves as more than just a mere side project. 2003's sophomore effort, "Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun," 2006's breakthrough "A Haunting Curse," and 2009's "Carving Out the Eyes of God" were all critically acclaimed, and garnered an increasingly large cult following. (The newest album was popular enough to be released on a major label AND climbed inside the Billboard top 200 sales chart!) As such, Goatwhore have cemented a well-respected status in the extreme metal community. And any well-versed metalhead should be familiar with their sound, which has long been known to be a brutal an uncompromising amalgam of old-school blackened death and thrash metal with traces of grindcore, hardcore, doom metal, and punk.

That having been said, their above-mentioned debut, 2000's "Eclipse of Ages into Black," sounds surprisingly different than and stands apart from everything that we have heard since. No, that's not to say that it is any less vitriolic than the other (newer) three records -- the band's patented hate-the-world attitude is still firmly in place here. However, the focus and source of influences seems to have had been quite a bit different seeing how the grind/hardcore elements made a noticeable shift to the forefront here. Zak Nolan's drumming (which evokes Nasum's Anders Jakobsson) is classic grind, and is augmented by breakneck tempos, riffs that are practically drenched in crust, Acid Bath/Soilent Green/Eyehategod-inspired Southern sludge sections, thick guitar distortion, and hardcore punk breakdowns. Sure, a few undeniable black metal elements remain (for example, the frog-throated, skin-crawling, Hellhammer-ish vocal rasps are in full effect). For the most part, though, "EoAiB" actually plays like a full-on grindcore album. (Think along the lines of Repulsion, Brutal Truth, Skinless, Circle of Dead Children, Impaled Nazarene, and Napalm Death.)

No discussion of "Eclipse" would ever be complete without mentioning its extremely thin (e.g. cheap) and gritty production. As a result, the mix supplies very little room for an audible bass guitar, leaving the skinsman with the sole responsibility of filling the bottom-end. (Nolan does a more than sufficient job of it, though, by unleashing a potent arsenal of stop-`n'-go blast beats.) And this extra gritty production job may take some getting used to, but it compliments the songs nicely by giving them an extra shot of pizzazz and urgency. "Invert the Virgin" is an almost shockingly mid-tempo number with hooky, churning guitars, rhythmic grooves, and a basic rock-and-roll drum beat. Thus, it ultimately comes across playing more like a traditional, old-school, fist-pumping, speed metal-tinged hard rock tune with that brings to mind vintage, leather and bullet-belt-clad Motorhead. Another standout, "As the Reflection Slowly Fades," is one of the rare occasions when the bass actually shines through (a solid, filthy-sounding bass line grumbles from below), and it also features a surprisingly lengthy, spooky, foreboding, and even somewhat dreary outro. And elsewhere, tracks like "Liar of Nastrond" and "Commanding the Legions of Hell" are partially doom metal, and their inclusions of Novembers Doom/latter day Celtic-Frost-like clean backing vocals make things even more dark and ominous; the mostly mid-tempo "Under a Dark God" becomes darn near moshable when a chugging hardcore breakdown slams on; and "Upon the Deathbed of Cold Fire" is concertedly more groove-oriented, and strictly adheres to a repetitive, droning black metal riff that could have been lifted wholesale off of the last Darkthrone outing.

But do not let any of this mislead you -- most of "Eclipse of Ages" is a much different story. The remainder of the songs are much more bludgeoning and out-of-control than the ones described above (in fact, they barely have a single shred of restraint in them!). Indeed, the members of Goatwhore go all-out on their instruments, create a hugely unholy fury, and leave tire-tracks on the listener's eardrums. "Nocturnal Holocaust" blows the album's doors off its hinges. A nonstop stream of "rat-tat-tat" machine-gun grindcore blasts are heard cracking away; meanwhile the two axemen work up a frothing amount of energy and uncork scorching chainsaw guitar flurries. The pulverizing and foundation-shaking "Desolate Path to Apocalyptic Ruin" is perhaps the best example of the tricky time signatures in Zak Nolan's drumming. He keeps things interesting by interspersing quite a few jarring tempo change-ups with sudden, stop-on-a-dime breakdowns. Plus, his playing is so blistering and brutal that sometimes the rhythms sound like cannon-fire (see "Into a Darker Sun"). And as a final positive, the drums are mixed loudly enough to make every last blast beat sting your flesh and get drilled into your skull like a railroad spike. Moving along, other choice standouts like "All the Sins," "Satan's Millennium," and "Perversions of the Ancient Goat" make for a good representation of more-or-less the whole album. True to form, these tunes blaze and steamroll full-speed ahead with tons of nerve-fraying buzzsaw guitars anchored by impeccable blasting that is tantamount to a jackhammer on 'roids.

My only complaints? A lack of variety. True, metal has never been about, say, nuance or different dimensions, but a few more standout tracks and individually memorable moments would have been beneficiary. Even so, the songs do grow on you with repeat listens, making this a strong and darn solid slab of blackened grindcore and a promising start for Goatwhore. In addition, no one should walk away from "Eclipse of Ages into Black" without thinking that this has got to be one of the most mean, nasty, sinister, and livid groups in the history of music! Thus, it sets the bar mighty high for PO'd bands worldwide because it is unlikely that anyone can cram more sonic malevolence into a mere 45-minute playing-time any time soon.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2000
Has to be in all;One of the best.I mean **the best**.Black metal bands of all times.Kind of reminded me of soilent green with a touch of black.I am gonna tell my friends bout this its just that good and suggest they to get it.Awesome songs on this disc .Very different sounding black metal band.Very unique and original.Needs to be in the collection of all serious metalheads abroad..buy it soon.
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