|» Cd reviews||
As sure as the sun rarely rises in mid-winter Sweden, as sure can you be that Archgoat are back with another slab of audial attacks to spite the deity in the sky in honor of the Southern Lord! Following the same style of raw death/black as Black Witchery, Morbosidad, Blasphemy and their fellow Finns Beherit, Archgoat has changed little since the 'Angelcunt' EP of '93. Fans of the band will recognize Sinisterror's battering blastbeats in The Apocalyptic Triumphator's up-tempo moments along with the awesome drum comps in the mid- and doomy sections.
The primitive and simple, yet incredibly effective, riffs and Slayer-solos of Ritual Butcherer are typical for the genre in general and the band in particular and will surprise no one. Neither will the deep, guttural grunts from Lord Angelslayer in his ever so persevering praises of the Horned One. Said Angelslayer's down-tuned bass work however is hidden deep within and ever really breaks free in the middle of 'Funeral Pyre of Trinity' from the messy, unpolished production. Simply put, if you heard a single Archgoat song before you know what to expect.
The entire raw death/black (or whatever you want to call it) genre balances on the thin edge of monotony, but despite being true to their sound Archgoat always managed to stray well on the edge, never falling into the pits of uninspiring repetitiveness, a trend that continues on The Apocalyptic Triumphator. The bands recipe contains a good variation in tempo within the songs (with a typical Archgoat song beginning in ferocious up-tempo, mellowing down into mid-tempo and returning to breakneck speed at the end, 'Sado-Magical Portal' even takes it a step further) or between songs, killer riffs and monstrous vocals with church bells and chanting choirs as the seasoning, but that still does not fully explain the skilled act of balance.
The main difference between Archgoat and their less memorable brethren lies in the primal blasphemic atmosphere which feels honest and obvious without being overworked. When Lord Angelslayer chants "Hail Satan! Hail Lucifer!" in 'Grand Luciferian Theopahny' it is a juvenile cliché in theory, but becomes material for true worship in practice. Many a virgin will be sacrificed at full moon to said tune!
The album is clearly structured to be played as an LP, with each side beginning with an intro and ending in a mellowing section. Overall, compared to Whore of Bethlehem and The Light-Devouring Darkness the song structuring feels more focused and less aggressively evil on this one. Where the earlier two full-lengths expressed a primal contempt for god, The Apocalyptic Triumphator feels more like a carefully orchestrated sermon, without becoming calculatingly orchestrated like Watain. Archgoat accomplishes this using the exact same building blocks as on their previous works displaying an impressive dynamic in a narrow sound.
Still, when it comes down to it, the riffs and arrangements in the songs determine the quality between Archgoat's albums. Although the title track, 'Grans Luciferian Theophany', 'Light of Phosphorus', Those Below' and 'Funeral Pyre of Trinity' are among the top tunes ever produced by the band in those aspects, The Apocalyptic Triumphator does not quite reach the summit of The Light-Devouring Darkness, but it certainly is close. You know well what to get from this so dust of the pentagram, robe and black candles and worship the Nether Lord. Archgoat, once again, helps you set the mood.