Ghoulgotha are a band from San Diego, California who play straight up, no bullshit death/doom. This is an album that’s been in my lap for a while and haven’t been able to figure out what to say about it. The Deathmass Cloak is a very difficult album to delve into at first, and typically I try to stay away from albums that are close to an hour long. But this is essentially doom metal after all.
With grimy guitars, a sloppy bass tone and pounding drums, this album is everything that death/doom represents. Nothing too special or out of the ordinary; however, they do toy around with some odd-timed beats, which I hope to hear them continue on the next album. The overall feel of this album is very old-school death metal. Even though Ghoulgotha are classified as death/doom, most of it is just straight-up death metal. I think sometimes people like to add names onto things to make them sound fancier than they are. This album is death metal with groovy parts as well as some doom incorporated into it, but I wouldn’t call it doom on it’s own.
Since we’re on the topic of death/doom, I just want to clarify that death/doom is hit or miss for me most of the time. There’s a lot of death/doom that I just can’t get into and would rather just listen to straight-up doom metal. However, Ghoulgotha is very good at what they do. “Cartilage Imperfect” is a good example of what these guys represent. There’s plenty of epic doom parts as well as blast beats and fast double kicks. They like to toy around with different styles in this album and I think that might be why it didn’t quite register with me. It just wasn’t consistent enough throughout the whole thing to really keep me interested for the whole 54 minutes.
Despite all of that, though, I will say that there is good musicianship here. Three pieces are awesome and always seem to mesh really well together. C. Koryn, I. Mann and W. Sarantopoulos are all on the same page and you can really hear it in their playing. These guys are doing exactly what they want to do and I respect them for that. I’m looking forward to what they have to offer next and I hope that the next release blows this one out of the water.
1. Solar Awakening (Intro)
2. Gazing into Melted Night
3. Neck for the Nameless Noose
4. Austere Urns
5. Saturnal Rites
6. Prophetic Oration of Self
7. Arteries Unblest
8. Citadel of Heathen Flesh
9. Cartilage Imperfect
10. Levitate Within the Curse
11. The Lament Configuration (Mythic cover)
C. Koryn – Drums, Percussion
I. Mann – Guitars, Bass
W. Sarantopoulos – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards