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Goatspell – Ascension of the Drakonian Beast [EP]

goatspell – ascension of the drakonian beast [ep]

This Black/Thrash band from Rouen, Normandy in France have been around since 2014. This EP is from 2018 and in the four years since its emanation from the catacombs of wars past rises a fierce beast. One with a singular goal – melt your damn face right off. The four rituals contained here are packed with that chaotic hateful energy that drip with conviction. Styrr handles guitars and vocals and F does vocals, drums and bass. The first song kicks off with a slower introduction to the songs main riff, a few short seconds later bells ring. Yes! Main riff repeats, more bells, things go off from there, and the BPMs increase considerably. Tight riffing, pick scrapes, blasts, and concise song structures that don’t let things fall off the rails. By the time the last minute rolls around some d-beat drumming makes an appearance and many earworm riffs are already stuck in my head. This is the kind of introduction that would make Per of Nifelheim, and Tom of Sodom proud.

I tried my hardest to find something to fault within these four songs, if I have to nitpick here maybe the lack of tempo variation could be a deterrent. However, there are many ideas developed in each song to keep them distinct from one another. Most of what’s offered here is fast, damn fast really, around 220-240 BPMs, occasionally they dip down to 180 – I think that’s more so for the listener than for them. Catch your breath, jump back in.

Each song stands on its own, to me the highlight is the title track. It showcases everything Styrr and F do well – variations on a riff theme, impeccable drumming ( some of the fills and cymbal work here is just so fucking relentless), melody ( not in the traditional sense, but in the crevasses of the layered chaos).

If “Show no Mercy” era Slayer, Teutonic Thrash, and in-your-face hateful shit have meant anything to you or put a smile of your face; please give these listen to Goatspell. Or don’t. They probably wouldn’t care if you did, they’re on this wretched earth for the riffs. (Hymnull)