Written by Gregg Harrington
With a band name like The Whorehouse Massacre, one could make a few assumptions about what one is about to listen to. The first that comes to mind is the abomination that was mid-2000’s “hipster grindcore”: white-belted singers with flat-ironed hair writing songs about murdering girls that wouldn’t sleep with them. Fortunately, TWM blows all of that out of the water with a sludgy doom metal attack that is as fuzzy as it is crushingly heavy. Taking even parts of Eyehategod, Coffins and St. Vitus, this Canadian trio doles out some punishing riffs without being too repetitive, or writing songs that drag on for too long. Altar Of The Goat Skull/VI is 13 tracks of no-bullshit stoner metal built for only the true freaks.
Label: Transcending Obscurity
Altar… is peppered with songs that are devoid of filler and knock you on your ass. The opener, “Indignation,” combines the cutthroat attack of a trudging riff mixed with the guttural vocals of a mentally unstable death metal band. The band occasionally assaults the listener with some wild instrumentals (“A.C.S.-4”, “A.C.S.3”, and “Sewer Dreams”, respectively), but eventually kicks back into their hypnotizing jams. Some standout tracks from the record are the album’s title track, “Altar of the Goat Skull,” and the band’s homage to its influences, a cover of the Sloth track “Sassy Pants,” from the band’s Division 1 State Champs records, which illustrates the roots of TWM pretty well.
The pleasant thing about this record is the length of the songs. Tracks range from a little over 90 seconds to about six minutes, which some bands in the genre couldn’t replicate if you put a gun to their heads. While TWM crafts some gnarly riffs that seem to go on for days, they don’t waste too much of the listener’s time with drawn-out songs hitting the ten-minute-plus mark. While the band isn’t discovering any progressive or groundbreaking territory, they do what they do incredibly well. So if you’ve got the better part of an hour to kill (and for some, a little mind-altering substance – not for me, but maybe for you) throw on Altar of the Goat Skull/VI and give in.