Released: 2016, Xtreem Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
This is one of those rare times where I wish I could give a release an “E” for effort instead of a critical review score.
With a name like Goat Worship, I was fully prepared for some Impaled Nazarene/Blasphemy/anything from Osmose grade blackened thrash. What I was met with on BLOOD AND STEEL was a one-man Brazilian retro-thrash project. That’s all well and good, but Joel Grind and Toxic Holocaust this is not. Goat Worship is more like a rehearsal tape of your kid brother’s band playing old Bathory and Kreator covers, but skipping over some of the more complicated parts.
The guts of BLOOD AND STEEL’s 9 tracks are all fairly reliable early-80’s inspired speed riffs, but the guitars sound like they’re running through a practice amp pushed to 11 and the fact that they’re double tracked doesn’t make it any better. That, and Goat Worship mainman Hades has just enough technical ability to fake it through a few solos, but an entire 40-minute album becomes a struggle.
All that aside - tracks like “Falklands War”, “Cremation Funeral” and “God of Thunder” (not a Kiss cover) are enjoyable old school, high speed crunchers that would probably translate much better live than they do here. “Only the Strong Will Survive” is arguably one of the stronger tunes on the album, but that’s because I’m pretty sure it’s the same riff as Bathory’s “Call From the Grave.”
But here’s where I get torn – if you’d told me that BLOOD AND STEEL was a 30 year old demo from some long defunct underground Brazilian thrashers, most if not all of the crap I’m griping about would be forgiven, rationalized that it was early in the scene’s evolution and that music is more about passion than technical expertise or studio quality. Which if you take a step back; that pretty much sums up Goat Worship. BLOOD AND STEEL is about one dude’s passion for the music he loves, and he’s putting everything out there on the line for it. That's what metal's all about.
I can’t necessarily get behind charging ten bucks for what’s basically a bedroom demo, but I can totally get behind telling you to check out Goat Worship’s Facebook page and some samples via their Bandcamp links. The spirit is there on BLOOD AND STEEL, hopefully the songs and performances will follow on the next release.