We all set out with our Metal virginity and naivety intact, chipping away at each of them from genre to genre. I remember vividly my first exposure to Cradle Of Filth, I sat there and laughed because I simply couldn’t believe music could be so heavy. Now look at me a slave to the machine of Brutal Death Metal and the most abhorrent genres of barbarity, oh how I’ve grown. None the less it is a sacred path all Metal fans must take, yet can extremity still surprise us even when we have attained our omnipotent state?

Since 1989 the Finnish tyrants of the underworld Archgoat have held aloft the flames of Baphomet in a bid to bring hideous hymns of the sinful to the dwellers of mischievous metallic lust. Now as they don their armour with the devilish label of Debemur Morti Productions the gruesome four piece prepare to wet their steel with their fourth full length release The Luciferian Crown, the follow up to 2015’s The Apocalyptic Triumphator. Their classic brand of Blackened Death Metal has made them a staple of patch jackets the world over but is their conquest still rife?

After a short needless introduction we are blasted into the carnage fuelled mass of ghoulish pride that we have come to expect from Archgoat. For those who aren’t already familiar with the trumpets of death that Archgoat blow you can expect unholy Extreme Metal to the very core. A carnivorous amalgamation of old school Death and Black Metal with hints of Punk infused crusty Thrash. This ability to weave between genres is what has made Archgoat so prolific and The Luciferian Crown is no exception.

Rest assured this delinquent blend of nigh on War Metal isn’t without talent or vigour, musicianship spills from every angle, from the machine gun drumming to the filth caked guttural entanglement of Lord Angelslayer’s vocals. Jezebels Black Mass Orgy, Darkness Has Returned, and The Luciferian Crown (Venom Of God) each take a fatal stab at the heart of the cross from the slower headbangable passages to the visceral agony of borderline Grindcore each is a purist Metalheads dream of gargantuan triumph.

The Luciferian Crown is real Metal, evil, extreme and shocking to the masses, yet did we ever have any doubt that these legends of their craft would let us down. I’ve always enjoyed Archgoat and this release simply feels like another perfect addition to their manuscript of war cries. Equally this is Extreme Metal for all, if you enjoy Death, Black, or Thrash there is a little something for everyone, unique but not impure Archgoat make their mark once again.

(8/10 George Caley)