After the first look at the cover art for the self-titled EP from Black Goat of the Woods, you would be forgiven for expecting some old school trash with its heart firmly in the 80s, with a love of Sodom first coming to mind. Of course, there’s that old saying about judging books and what not and their covers. However it goes. Anyway, the point is that when approaching this EP you’re not quite prepared for the sound and atmosphere held within its nine tracks, edging much more towards grindcore.
Black Goat of the Woods simply reeks of hopelessness and despair, a breed of misanthropic grind that only a few bands really get right. The formula itself is rather straightforward, as each terse caustic track goes for the jugular but also is heaving with dank atmosphere. The first three tracks really get the ball rolling and pauses before fourth song, the explicitly titled The Whoring Cunt, with an unnerving spoken sample before kicking back in with the dissonance in the shape of a trudging slow verse that speeds up expectedly again. In fact, there are plenty of times throughout the EP where the band slows things down to a harrowing dirge.
Production wise, this EP is pretty spot on. The vocals are suitably harsh and the bass is kept nice and audible, protruding its dirty self through the malaise of guitars. This really works on Filth and Intoxication, where the rumbling bass makes its presence aberrantly felt while Terrorize the Church is a more than an apt song title as its unruly passages are just that – terrorizing.
Closer, Crawling Through Hell is the opposite though. At a staggering near nine minutes long, it makes for quite a break away from the band’s usual minute or two minute long barrages. Black Goat of the Woods have released a very solid EP here. What they do next is vital though. There’s momentum to build on.