Finding new ways to describe black metal is a ball-ache. So, we won’t even bother. Suffice to say, Deathcult‘s Cult Of The Goat – the long awaited follow up to 2007’s Cult of the Dragon (we’ve moved from mythical wing-ed beasts to the more mundane farm-dwelling mammal) – is a ferocious slice of semi-melodic Norwegian black metal that firmly represents the genre.
You’d expect nothing less from them of course, as Deathcult counts Taake mainman Hoest amongst its power-trio and excellence is generally par for the course.
With requests for Satan to take as all to hell, the lyrics are pretty standard fare but it’s the almost bouncy riffs (recalling the accessibly of latter day Satyricon) that provide the biggest hit. “Bloodstained Ritual” is a blast, figuratively and literally, and delivers a mean muthafucker of a catchy riff that dominates throughout. Almost mid-paced, there’s echoes of early Celtic Frost here as Deathcult’s black ‘n’ roll worms its way into your core.
“Man Versus Beast” proves to be a tad more vicious, upping the ante in speed and aggression but could be described as one of Cult Of The Goat‘s more generic tracks, so it’s left to the almost middle-eastern infected “Devilgoat” to raise the bar. Replete with bleating goats (they might be possessed, we’re waiting on confirmation from the Vatican), this experimental ditty to horned mammals controlled by Beelzebub is an Into The Pandemonium-esque avant-garde moment of black metal with a difference. It’s simply top class and demands to be heard.
Occasional abandonment of familiar black metal structures aside, Cult Of The Goat is a fucking blast of bloody brilliant experimental black metal. Plus, ‘cult’ and ‘goat’ rhyme. So, well done there. 8/10