Golgothan Remains – Adorned In Ruin

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Aussie death metal quartet Golgothan Remains showed a great deal of potential when the band released its debut album 'Perverse Offerings to the Void' in 2018. Their brand of death metal now has widened a lot from its initial stage. With the basic outline of their classic Aussie brutality, the sophomore 'Adorned In Ruins' proves the signature sound of this group is constantly evolving. The second album was recorded and mixed by Aaron Worboys at Adversary Studios and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. The lineup includes Aled Powell (drums), Matt Hillman (guitars) and new members Matthieu Van den Brande (vocals) and Adam Martin (bass guitar).  

The first thing you notice upon listening to the opening track ‘Veneration Of Carnal Blasphemy’ is the vicious growling of the new vocalist: with the drums providing excessive blast beats the barbarity of the growls are spewed forth. Obscure guitar riffs draw influences from the brutal old-school death metal while the rhythm guitars pulverize the listener through ferocious riffs. There is something extremely monstrous about Matthieu Van den Brande‘s vocals that give the album this malicious quality. His vocals range from low demonic to roaring growls. Musically, Golgothan Remains brings all the elements of the debut album with eerie guitar riffs enhancing the atmosphere of the songs. Dreadful riffs are displayed in their most unearthly fashion alongside bludgeoning drums. Bolstered by these sick morbid riffs, they create ominous melodies. Despite the murky production, the sound of the instrumentation draws you to the jarring dissonance and the high technicality of the riffing where the songs are mainly played at fast tempos.

There is a lot more to the contents of this album that spans just under forty minutes. For instance, the third track ‘Wandering Through Chambers Of Deathlike Void’ shows the consistency of the guitars in spewing thick dissonance. Without any frills or gimmicks, Golgothan Remains has cultivated remarkable songwriting skills adding a variety of riffs to each of the nine songs of the album. Although the band began experimenting with dissonance on the previous release already, every now and then the guitars offer these infectious harmonies and dissonance. ‘Opulent Incarnation Of Persevering Torment’ builds on a solid guitar technique and complex outbursts of the guitar patterns, while the drums vary from speed to mid-tempo. In all degrees of inharmoniousness, the guitars sometimes sound sharp and catchy and the drums build up the tempo shifting between fast and slow paces. Not all the songs on the album are played at fast tempos, with  the slower parts usually being catchy and the guitar segments and subtle melodies very sinister as they add an extra dimension to the composition.

Throughout the album the guitars create layers of dissonance. In my opinion it would have been better if there had been some guitar solos, but I must say that the song architecture is very cohesive. My only remark about the album is that the growling isn’t as brutal, otherwise this is a solid release nevertheless. ‘The Malign Hordes Of Abhorrence’ is an excellent mixture of slow guitars. The atmosphere is just unreal, Golgothan Remains takes its influences from the N.Y. death metal bands. Although the band emulates the brutal sense of bands like Immolation or Incantation, ‘Adorned In Ruin’ truly achieves new standards. In contrast to the debut album, the sophomore truly manifests the characteristics of the band and showcases their talent for writing complex riffs.


Forgotten Lores of Hatred And Bloodshed’ is an ultra-heavy death metal track. The heavy riffing combine the sheer technicality allowing the obscure rhythm atmosphere to intensify,  while ‘…Of Morbid Blood And Serpent Skins’ is full of insane drumming with plenty of blasting sections and double bass. Despite the brutality the track is well balanced by the bleak and evil atmosphere which simultaneously matches the whole sinister theme of the album. The album also includes a short instrumental cut entitled ‘Void II: Towards The Joyless Elysium’ that leads to the final track ‘On Lifeless Wings of Malice’ which builds on ominous vocal samples and begins with scathing tremolo riffs work followed by clean, vehement growls before the blasting drums set the brutal tone for the remainder of the track. ‘Adorned In Ruin’ is a refreshing album for those who want to hear some good classic nineties death metal brutality. This is recommended if you like Immolation, Altars and Ulcerate.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 7/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10

‘Adorned In Ruin’ is a brutal slab of death metal that mainly emphasizes the sheer technicality of this Aussie quartet who has delivered a fine scale of musicianship and songwriting. The sophomore is recommended if you are into bands like Ulcerate, Altars and Immolation.

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