German madmen Goath are big, it seems, in Brazil. Indeed, had COVID not intervened they’d probably have been touring there instead of conniving to produce this slab of utter madness; so at least some good has come out of the situation.

But that’s where any notion of ‘good’ stops, because III:SbtU is basically evil incarnate in musical form. Or, if not evil, then at least it’s the work of people who aren’t very nice. Live reviews of Goath have likened the band’s performance as being tantamount to a physical threat to the audience, and unhinged rantings like Pretending To Serve While Raping certainly carry with them the not-so-latent notion that a good kicking might be around the corner for someone.

This message of hate is helped by one of the best productions I’ve heard from a band at this level for a while; have a listen to the superb closing track Impregnated With Black Fire for further evidence of this: sludgy, viscous guitars ooze through the gaps that aren’t filled by pumping kick drums, rattling snares or rumbling low-frequency bass belches. The result is unrelenting heaviness from which there appears to be no escape. In fact, there’s a brief two or three second hiatus in the middle of Impregnated… where you perk up, thinking the horror might be over, but then it all kicks off again, piling the misery on for another three minutes of doom-laden aural torture.

The title track is a bit of a rave-up, too, rattling along on a punky opening riff before blossoming into a Deicide-styled orgy of noise, glorious noise; the chorus, such as it is, actually adds a bit of blast-furnace ‘melody’ to the track, as welcome as it is unexpected and that’s a feature of most of the tracks here; just when you’ve settled for some straight up-and-down sonic violence, the band inject a little bonus for your enjoyment via an odd vocal line or short sharp guitar run. It keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure, but it also means that, unforgiving though this album is, it’s also one hell of a rip-roaring listen. Wait ’til the light fades, wherever you may be, then give it a go…

III: Shaped By The Unlight
Releases on April 9th.