Like any good metalhead, I try to keep track of all the shows happening in my neck of the woods, even though I can only make it to a fraction of them. This is how Belgium’s Goat Torment popped up on my metal radar. Turns out the band will be tormenting Sacramento as part of a handful of West Coast dates in conjunction with their appearance at California Deathfest in Oakland (no, I will not be in attendance), which is right around the corner.
Goat Torment play the sort of burly, bulldozing, death metal-influenced black metal popularized by the likes of Blasphemy and Archgoat. Indeed, this is black metal with plenty of low-end heft; you can actually hear what the bass guitar is doing. Granted, much of the black metal scene has gotten away from the thin, trebly sounds of the good ol’ days, but Goat Torment sound particularly pummeling on their sophomore album, Sermons to Death.
You won’t find any keyboards, female vocals, or progressive flourishes on Sermons to Death. You will however have your ass handed to you as Goat Torment barrel through seven tracks of grim and grimy black metal that rolls over the listener like a Panzer tank battalion. An ambient intro, interlude and outro bring some atmosphere to the table, but for the most part this duo is all about snapping necks and breaking bones with a sound that rumbles along in delightfully no-frills fashion for most of the album’s forty minute duration.
Goat Torment aren’t reinventing the wheel with Sermons to Death and they sure as hell aren’t forward-thinking, but in listening to the album you get the distinct feeling that they wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something to be said for well-done black metal that doesn’t aspire to anything other than smashing your skull to bits, and in this respect Goat Torment are doing it better than most. See you fuckers in Sacramento.
Goat Torment US Tour Dates:
Sunday, October 11 — Oakland, CA — California Deathfest
Wednesday, October 14 — Seattle, WA — Highline
Thursday, October 15 — Portland, OR — Panic Room
Friday, October 16 — Eugene, OR — Old Nick’s
Saturday, October 17 — Sacramento, CA — The Colony
Sunday, October 18 — Los Angeles, CA — The Black Castle