By: Alex Phillips
Label: Hells Headbangers
Available: February 24
Rumor tells of a Peruvian black metal band—they go by the name Goat Semen—whose debut album, a horrific codex of pure diabolism, has been shade-growing in the Andean highlands for nearly a decade. Such a tale is too strange, too disconcerting, to ignore. The threat is undeniable, for Goat Semen have been dribbling out splits, demos, and live recordings in underground obscurity since 2002, building up to the hateful spewing climax that is Ego Svm Satana. The chillingly sinister press release delights in describing the “fervor ‘n anticipation” for the album in the metal underground and how the band’s legend has grown “to enviable levels,” taking on “almost mythical” status. I’m fortunate that these staggering proclamations of rising black metal Evil in faraway Andean Peru are but whispers and rumor here in Minnesota, for had I been any closer, the story surely would have exerted a great and malevolent force potent enough to bend my critical ear to its will. Such grim powers are not to be trifled with . . .
. . . But in all seriousness.
At first the thought of reviewing a Peruvian black metal band called Goat Semen appealed to me on some primordial level, in a way that I can’t explain. It made me wonder, what other monstrosities are hiding in the South American metal scene? After a few dozen listens the band has earned a place in my black metal playlist alongside favorites Inquisition, Fyrnask, Al-Namrood, Emperor. Ego Svm Satana is one hell of a black metal whirlwind, unlike any other. Though my command of the Spanish tongue leaves much to be desired, with song titles like “Holocausto,” “Genocidio,” and “Madre Muerte” I feel confident making assumptions as to what horrors this four-piece extermination squad is shrieking about. And the music isn’t just a whirlwind, it’s a whirlwind of knives coated in marching powder coming down a hillside at you at the speed of sound. These dudes sound barbaric and exotic, with production quality that doesn’t shine like a corporate gem, and is lo-fi enough to satisfy those trve-kvlt black metal fans enthralled of the chainsaw-in-a-garbage-can sound pioneered during black metal’s ascendancy in the 1980s. Regardless, if you’re into black metal—obscure black metal—then Goat Semen’s debut full-length might just give you a severe metal boner.