Carving Out the Eyes of God

Wow – talk about being knocked on your ass! Carving Out the Eyes of God (from here on will be Carving), the fourth long player from New Orleans’ Goatwhore is a monster of an album, and it was totally unexpected for me.

My first exposure to them was about five years ago when I saw them live with Cattle Decapitation. At the time, I wasn’t into much black or death metal. In fact, I was only just beginning to dive into underground music. I was there mainly to see the local openers, but was left impressed with their performance so I picked up their album at the time, Funeral Dirge for the Rotting Sun – I didn’t like it, so I sold it (back then, I always liked more extreme metal in a live setting, but not so much on disc).

In the years since, I’ve pretty much ignored the band, but recently my interest was piqued when I heard they had a new album coming out and a new song was streaming on their Myspace. I figured it was time I gave them another go, as my tastes are always expanding – I was blown away by what I heard. Not so much black metal anymore, but more of a blackened death/thrash sound, so I signed myself up for this review.

Every song on Carving just hammers away and has something unique to offer from the song prior. Whether it’s the stomping gallop of “Shadow of a Rising Knife” and “Reckoning of the Soul Made Godless”; the haunting, eerie atmosphere of the title track and the closing “To Mourn and Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways”; the blasting and frantic pacing of “The All-Destroying” and “Razor Flesh Devoured”; that unmistakable sludgy gait of New Orleans that can be found in parts of “Provoking the Ritual of Death”; or the raw, gritty crunch of “Apoclyptic Havoc”, “In Legions, I Am Wars of Wrath” and “The Passing Into the Power of Demons”, there’s a decent amount of diversity here without going outside of their realm.

Frontman Ben Falgoust a slightly blackened roar that is very decipherable, which is a nice bonus we don’t usually get with this type of metal – it gives his tales of hate, apocalypse, death and destruction that much more punch.

The guitar tone of Carving is just…nasty, and it works perfectly for the vibe of the album. Overall the production is perfectly suited to the music – the guitars and vocals are out front, and the bass is pretty audible. There’s a certain rawness that’s been left in it, but it’s by no means murky – it just works.

Carving is at once mean, raw, memorable and fairly diverse It’s also unquestionably metal as fuck – no sugar coating here. My words can no longer do this album justice – just go get it and see for yourself.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 30th, 2009


  1. Commented by: timshel

    Spot-on review. This album is unrelenting.

  2. Commented by: Bill Hansen

    Nice review. Since you liked this one, you need to go back and listen to A Haunting Curse. I think it’s their best work.

  3. Commented by: Staylow

    Yeah, I’ve heard A Haunting Curse a couple times since I first heard this because I was curious – it is indeed pretty damn good, but I like this one better.

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