Lima, Peru's Goat Semen was forged back in 2000. Despite the length of time the group has been active, the studio time had largely been dedicated to smaller recordings. In total, the discography for this Black and Death Metal effort includes three demos, the most recent being Holocausto in 2013, two live albums in 2007, as well as contributions to five splits and a 2006 sampler for Legion of Death Records. For 2015, this four-piece finally present their long overdue first full-length album Ego Svm Satanas through Hells Headbangers. But, despite all the attention and re-issues of recordings, most notably their 2002 self-titled demo, does this album live up to the group's own hype, or is this an underwhelming release that simply was not worth the wait?

From the moment the Inquisition-grade, though far more intense in a minimalistic chanting manner, ritualistic introduction track "Letanias de Satan" kicks in, it becomes clear that Ego Svm Satana is going to be an uncompromising release. "Holocasto" confirms this by diving head first into blistering mixtures of blast beat fuelled Death Metal with third wave Black Metal undertones scattered about, sinister rasps and growls, as well as moderately sharpened distortions on the guitars that lash away the moment the brief grind commences. It's a short secondary introduction to the album that braces you for "Genocidio", a much more fleshed out faster cut that isn't quite as eccentric other than some well executed falsetto wails, one of which helps set up the solid guitar solo. Infectious grooves with Thrash Metal speed and Death Metal hostility are met with well paced drumming that rarely ever lets up, reminding listeners of bands like Deiphago and Hate, even the gritty Thrash Metal underworld as far as bands like Vektor are concerned.

Those three make up what to expect from much of the album, and while it's quite the impressive display of aggression, the fact it's what the band relies on the most for Ego Svm Satana does wear thin fairly quick. Thankfully there are a small handful of songs that aren't about how hard and fast this group can eviscerate your body through hostility and adrenaline from start to finish. "Madre Muerte" still has its share of speed, but asserts itself quite differently. The bass guitar is pulled to the forefront more, driving the truly dark sounding performance forward beyond the creeping introduction. There is a gradual build to the group's typical intensity, a nice change from the non-stop assault of nearly every track before and after, but wrapping up in a depressing setting that trudges on in more of a Doom Metal pace than anything else. Meanwhile "Warfare Noise" is a mixture of consistnt mid-tempo marches and grooves that can often hold a militaristic sensation, some random bursts of speed, as well as a nod to Slayer's "Raining Blood" towards the end, leading to a very dismal slower paced conclusion with layered/altered screams that sound fairly inhuman.

And then there's the nearly eleven minute "Hambre". Like the slower mournful segments of "Madre Muerte", this one takes its time in spots, like the mournful congregation march at the start that finds the group dropping the Black Metal aspect for the most part. Instead it takes on your traditional Death/Doom Metal foundation, akin to the likes of Novembers Doom and early Katatonia. Things only start to pick up around the half way point, ushering in some early second wave Black Metal grooves after a heavy shift to Death Metal to create a surprisingly epic explosion to act as a transition between the two. The only issue to this stellar performance ends up being that it doesn't really seem to have a proper conclusion, just suddenly drops to emptier drumming and additional screaming. "Ego Svm Satana" does manage to maintain that presence and similar atmosphere, though the drums take on more of a ritualistic touch in comparison. Sadly, it doesn't feel like a true extension of "Hambre", or offer any further closure to it. Instead, it's a haunting way to round out a otherwise visceral recording.

Even though the venomous anger on display can start to wear thin after a while, though never actually growing old, Ego Svm Satana still manages to deliver on nearly every possible level. From a fantastic audio quality that captures the group's natural hostility, all the way down to making it all sound easy, Goat Semen craft something that may not be completely original at this point, but is still one hundred percent welcome. It also shows a group that has been around going on fifteen years that not only knows what they are doing, but don't strictly limit themselves to one particular style. It may have taken about a decade and a half, but Goat Semen easily stands as a dominant Peruvian force of Metal that fans of Black/Death Metal genre looking for something other than the hordes of Behemoth clones need to take notice of.

Review originally composed for Apoch's Metal Review.