August 13, 2018

Golgothan Remains - Perverse Offerings to the Void

By Hera Vidal. Black metal will forever be associated with Norway; there is no denying that aspect, given black metal’s origins and lyrical content, especially post-Black Circle shenanigans. Because of this, country-specific black metal is usually overlooked and underrated.
By Hera Vidal.

Cover art by Morkh.

Australia is well-known for their vast metal scene, and while my focus has remained on the realm of black metal, I tend to pop up my head from time to time to smell the flowers outside. Now, death metal is certainly not my thing – I tend to prefer the symphonic and melodic versions of death metal – but I slowly eased into enjoying Perverse Offerings to the Void, Golgothan Remains’s debut album. A stellar piece of work that comes wrapped in a disgusting, putrid layer of sound that contains the dirtier aspects of wherever this album came from.

Before jumping headfirst into the album, I wanted to look into the band’s name. Their name is a reference to Golgotha, known as Calvary, the place where Jesus was crucified. Although no one can agree where exactly the crucifixion occurred, the Gospels claim that Golgotha was outside the city of Jerusalem, accessible to passers-by. Golgotha can also be translated as “skull,” meaning that church scholars have interpreted the name to mean a place that looks like a cranium or has skulls buried on site. (Golgotha is also said to be the final resting place of Adam’s skull.) It would make sense that the band would take their name from the remains of Calvary, as it was known as a heap of death where the skulls of the deceased could be found.

Perverse Offerings to the Void is unlike anything I have ever heard. It has a heavy black metal backing but remains heavily focused on its death metal roots. There is something incredibly melodic about it, slowly easing the listener into enjoying the record. However, a big part of the album’s impact is just how gross it sounds. It feels like the members are playing music with instruments covered in filth and grime, making them sound harsh and dissonant. It also doesn’t help that Golgothan Remains made their music sound cacophonous with a touch of melody. This becomes evident on “Timeless Eradicator” and “Looped Depraved Spell,” as their penchant for melody helps contrast the sound of the down-tuned guitars and harrowing vocals. Perverse Offerings to the Void sounds like death metal being played in a swamp in dense climate, which, given Australia’s climate, should come as no surprise.

The vocals also don’t help with easing this image of filth and putridity, as they are both ferocious and muted. Their quiet aggression is constant, and they sit in the foreground, acting as a balance point to the music. They also have a tendency to be haunting, as if the void opened up and let all of these screaming souls out by accident, calling anyone unfortunate enough to hear them to their doom. I also couldn’t help but notice that the vocals sounded a lot like their brethren Spire’s on Entropy. Underneath the layers of filth, the vocals are the only anchor that keeps the listener hanging on beneath the heavy atmosphere and the cacophonous instrumentation. They haunt you and torment you until the end of the album, and you can only hope that their onslaught is over before you decide to end it yourself.

All in all, Perverse Offerings to the Void is a good debut that fills a niche in death metal. Although its brand of death metal is not something I am familiar with, I can appreciate the aesthetic and the dedication that went into making this album. I found myself enjoying the album despite its cacophonous nature, and I recommend this album to anyone who needs some intense death metal in their lives.

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