GOATWHORE, Carving Out the Eyes of God (2009, Metal Blade)
A bleak black and white skull with some occult symbol scrawled in the forehead, probably from the corny Simon Necronomicon published in the early 80s (see also: Morbid Angel). The skull is flanked by two scythes, which I can’t imagine are the ideal tools for eye-carving, but underneath the skull are two of those ridiculous “combat knives” you’re likely to find at that cutlery store in the mall that also sells Klingon weaponry. I guess you could those to carve out the eyes of God, even if a straight blade is almost certainly a better choice. The skull obviously has no eyes, so maybe it’s supposed to be God’s skull, but if it is, eye carving is probably the least of this skully God’s problems. He’s got no skin, and Cthulhu is on his case!
I’ve never been able to get into Goatwhore, but since most of my time not enjoying them is spent actually seeing them live (they open for a lot of bands I like), I usually forget that their albums are really not so bad. They’re just not my thing. Goatwhore are basically a stew of Slayer, Deicide, and Celtic Frost: mid-to-fast paced thrashy death metal with a swaggering groove. Their earlier albums feature a pretty strong black metal influence, but that’s less evident on this, their third full length. But from album to album, and then song to song, there’s very little variation and almost no genuine creativity, and the entire enterprise feels too calculatedly engineered to interest angry adolescents in nail-studded bracers. Slayer’s been working that beat for years, and even they can’t turn that mission into good music, so what chance does a band from New Orleans have?
— Friar Johnsen