The Minnesota band Taking the Head of Goliath traces their roots all the way back to 2015 and basically is the story of a collection of bands breaking up and members of those bands getting together and looking for bass player, which brought in Luke Renno from Crimson Thorn. The band quickly gained attention, playing their first show on the For Today farewell tour, which also featured Norma Jean. The band’s debut show was also released as an ep earlier on Noisetrade and their self-titled ep is their debut after signing to Rottweiler Records. On the self-titled ep, Matthew Mark Vangsgard laid the drum tracks but he has since left the band and been replaced by Steve Reishus (ex-Crimson Thorn). For those who can’t easily decipher the lyrics, the band is looking to spread a message of hope, redemption, strength, and courage through Jesus Christ.
Haunting, eerie music builds in the intro track “Of Sin and Death” and then the pounding rhythm of “Oblivious into Oblivion” kicks in with a great guitar fill at the beginning before settling into a double bass driven section supporting a mixture of death growls and shrieks. Guttural vocals rule the day here and the band comes through with punishingly heavy riffs to keep the song moving. For my ears, the closest comparison here would be bands like Broken Flesh and Cannibal Corpse.
For “The Expulsion of Putrid Illusion”, the band adopts a groove at times that almost sounds like something out of the Black Sabbath catalog, but those bits are short-lived among the blast-beat and double bass driven sections. Elements like this keep the ep interesting in the early section, but unfortunately, the songs do tend to become more routine and predictable as the ep moves on. “Trenches” is one of the more adventurous tracks on the album starting out with some war background before moving into a driving, relentless, heavy riff. What doesn’t work for me that well in this song is the basically acapella vocal sections in the beginning as the guttural death metal vocals really need some music accompanying them to keep their impact, but that’s just my opinion as many bands employ the same techniques. The song really highlights the drum work by Steve Reishus with the complicated fills, rhythms and transitions throughout the song.
“This Present Darkness” is where the album starts to feel familiar and many of the elements in the first half of the ep that were used to keep the songs fresh seem to reappear in this track and in “Audacity to Inspire”. The songs are heavy, if not outright brutal, but seem a bit familiar. “Unearthed/Iniquity’s End” reverses this short-lived trend if by nothing else opening with a great keyboard piece that is picked up by the guitars and the band and then expanded on. Granted, this is a cover of a Crimson Thorn song, but heavy guitar riffs, pounding, fast and complicated drums, and guttural death vocals, with some guitar solos really set this song apart and make it something special on the ep.
Taking the Head of Goliath have unleashed an outright brutal death metal ep filled with all the elements one would hope to hear from a death metal band and have thrown in a couple surprises sure to please listeners.
Written by John Jackson
1. Of Sin And Death
2. Oblivious Into Oblivion
3. The Expulsion Of Putrid Illusion
5. This Present Darkness
6. Audacity To Inspire
7. Unearthed/Iniquity’s End
Steve Reishus – Drums
Nathan Sherman – Guitar
Rob Blake – Guitar
Luke Renno – Bass, vocals
Jake Martin – Vocals
Record Label: Rottweiler Records
Release Date: July 6th. 2018
Lyric video for ‘Audacity to Inspire’