Archgoat - The Luciferian Crown
Debemur Morti Productions
Black Metal
10 songs (35:14)
Release year: 2018
Debemur Morti Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Having been through something of a rough period in my lame, non-metal personal life, the thought of coming home to some freakish Satanic blasting terror courtesy of Finland's Ritual Butcherer and Lord Angelslayer held much appeal. And, just as those who know Archgoat's work can attest, The Luciferian Crown is yet another coal-black gem of hell-raising noise, fitting into their discography perfectly. It's always a surprise when reminded that Archgoat have been metalling since 1989, but the songs here are crafted with far more care and attention than their reputation may imply. Archgoat are no band of alcohol-fuelled reprobates, but true believers who know how to add a little keyboard line here or a sample there for full atmospheric effect.

Sure, Jesus Christ Father of Lies and Jezebel's Black Mass Orgy blast along at speed, Angelslayer's vocals incomprehensible grunts and growls, and on the former especially there are plenty of solid guitar solos to widdle along with. But they also have a keen appreciation for doom and allow the frequent dips in tempo full power, unafraid of a little catchiness that creeps in more often than you'd think, alongside such genre staples as female shrieks and moans or the animal bleats that open the grindingly intense Messiah of Pigs. They even throw some punk rock in on Darkness Has Returned, those smotheringly heavy vocals not overpowering the guitar work in what is the closest we'll probably ever get to black metal Napalm Death. And on album highlight Star of Darkness and Abyss, Archgoat beat you into submission with their typically heavy sound before turning to a doomy crawl with surprisingly technical drumwork from new man Goat Aggressor and suitably horrifying "spoken" word vocals.

It's later where Archgoat really impress, however, adding some spacey psychedelic synths to the beginning of The Obsidian Flame - From My Depths before pounding into a mid-paced groove that maximises the band's atmospheric impact. Without a doubt it's not what you'd expect to hear from them in terms of sophistication, and it's almost a relief when the following The Luciferian Crown - Venom of God duly returns to blasting. It's worth noting, too, that The Luciferian Crown has a relatively clean production compared to the likes of 2006's Whore of Bethlehem, meaning I'd hesitate to put them into the "raw black metal" bracket at all. They've not turned into Satyricon or anything but this is definitely their most accessible album to date, to the point where it's a suitable entry point to the band's discography. Y'know, because you were definitely looking for a way to get your non-metal friends into Archgoat and all...

Killing Songs :
Jesus Christ Father of Lies, Darkness Has Returned, Star of Darkness and Abyss, The Obsidian Flame - From My Depths
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Archgoat that we have reviewed:
Archgoat - The Apocalyptic Triumphator reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Archgoat - The Light-Devouring Darkness reviewed by Charles and quoted 73 / 100
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