The Light-Devouring Darkness is thirty minutes of pure fucking ugly. Archgoat has no use for melody, no time for harmony and no tolerance for catchiness. Lord Angelslayer’s vocals are so gutturally deep as to be bubbling with bile. Ritual Butcherer’s guitar is foul and grimy and rarely rises above the layers of slime covering the floor of the putrid, mold-ridden mausoleum in which they apparently recorded. Sinister Karppinen’s drums sound dead enough to have been constructed from the bones of wayward Christian travelers, their skins stretched over the toms. The ten songs presented here, described by the band as psalms to Satan, are cacophonous and repugnant with a special focus on reflecting a heartfelt distaste for abject humanity. The almost entirely unintelligible lyrics begin with, “Hail Lucifer!” and stay the course throughout, making frequent reference to sexual abuse and mutilation of the Virgin whore and the destruction of Jesus Christ and his followers.
All of three styles are at work on this album: slow, bludgeoning old school death metal, grind-paced old school death metal, and crust-punk infused old school death metal. All of this, with the anti-Christian sentiment, of course, adds up to old school black metal, raw as fuck and evil as Aleister Crowley. An exercise in unadulterated, pitch black menace, The Light-Devouring Darkness amounts to nothing more than filthy, greasy, malignant heavy black metal delivered with all the charisma of a rotting corpse. And it is fucking glorious.
Archgoat don’t give a fuck whether you go out and buy their album but, if you’re the sort of metal head that revels in the occasional, unpretentious, mallet-to-the-face-followed-by-ritualistic-disembowelment of genuinely evil metal, this one here ought to be at the top of your list.