Vengeful Ascension is a refinement rather than a retooling of the Goatwhore sound… there's nothing here we haven't heard out of these guys before, but the album shows a lot more versatility than the characterless, pedal-to-the-floor blur that has characterized large chunks of their last several albums.
The thrash icons are back baby!
While the debate of what metal subgenre is the most extreme would be endless and revolve around subjective opinion, I'd make the claim that funeral doom should be one of the main contenders. The defining slow tempo of the style along with distorted vocals and lyrical themes embody the epitome of an anti-mainstream sentiment and therefore make for what one should consider "extreme."
Like most good trends, the popularity and presence of metallic hardcore has been at a constant ebb and flow. Peaking with the momentum from Converge at the start of the 2000's, the genre eventually lost pace with a focus on melody and the post-hardcore scene. But luckily in more recent years, we have seen a rise in more experimental and forward-thinking groups. Acts like Code Orange and Harms Way were the first I noticed to peek into the underground spotlight, but it seems the floodgates are breaking open as a particularly new sound is becoming increasingly present and compelling.
Much can be said to the "Meh" quality of most bands in one of the most mature, yet juvenile sub-genre in metal, so it's always refreshing to find some un-charred and freshly hacked bone nubs to nibble on and digest.
Regarding the legacy of the band, I view Deftones as divided into two entities, segmented by the passing of Chi. Adrenaline through Saturday Night Wrist represents their mastering of nü angst to alt-metal experimentation as the two releases in the past six years would act as the next matured stage in the band. Personally, both Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan seemed to just hit the nail on the head after the tense hiatus. While those two LPs were received quite well by both critics and fanbase, it felt as if there was a reluctance to hold them as highly as previous releases with the absence of such a founding member still on the mind. In hopes of bridging this gap, the group takes the third step forward in a continuation of their established creativity and depth with Gore.
If you enjoy brutal death to any degree, this quality release by Iniquitous Savagery is well worth the investment.