Goat Torment is one of those bands. This duo from Ghent, Belgium, has been around since 2008 but faced a lot of problems on the way. A South American tour with Enthroned was cancelled. Finding, and keeping, a drummer wasn't easy and after a few years founding members K.J. and Kwel decided to part ways, leaving Kwel to be the only member at that time. However, Kwel came back with a new second member in Torturer (Bethlehem, ex-Belphegor).
'Sermons To Death' is the second full-length after 'Dominande Tenebrae' in 2013. With this album the duo hopes to establish themselves again in the Belgian and European black metal scene and they are quite right to do so. If anything, 'Sermons To Death' is a fierce, malignant and brutal album, loaded with screams, blastbeats and hyperspeed riffs in perfect old school tradition.
The albums opens with 'Opening The Gates' which functions as an intro. However, the length of it surprised me. It's a 3.46 minutes lasting dark ambient song, and a great one too, which is not a long time in that genre but quite long as a black metal intro. 'Within The Realm Of Darkness' repeats the ambient elements, being a breather for the intense 'Defloration Of The Holy Cunt'.
After the intro 'Bones Aligned' comes up with the bleak guitars and blast beats that we're used to and love so 'effin' much, immediately ripping into the occult underground of the extreme musical genres. From then on, hell breaks loose in seven epic pieces of black metal. In no way Goat Torment deviates from the traditional or vintage form of ill-natured music. This is a blackened as it can possibly get.
Musically Goat Torment can easily be compared to chaotic black metal bands like Carpathian Forest, Abigor or Enthroned. 'Rising Dominion' for example drives of piercing thrash metal riffs and often a constant load of double bass drums. This is for the main the slowest song on the album but still remains a crushing and solid piece of metal.
Goat Torment doesn't claim to be original. All they want to do is create immensely brutal, evil and occult black metal to honor the tradition of the genre, which is perfectly fine. Of course we heard this before but that doesn't mean that this album is stale and uninspired. Give 'Hierarchy Of Negligence' a good listen and before you know you'll definitely be in front of the stage at one of their next performances. This song is simply epic headbanging stuff. So is 'Death Is Crowned' and so is 'Of Fire And Brimstone'.
In the beginning of this review I mentioned that this band was surrounded with bad luck. Well, here too some bad luck is involved. This album will unfortunately be overshadowed by what is probably the best Belgian black metal album in history: Wiegedood. But all I can recommend is give Goat Torment a chance. They really deserve the attention of the European blackened underground and they've come up with a blast of an album.