Milking the Goatmachine – Nach uns die Grindflut Review

It’s late summer; baby goat season has come and passed. The now-adolescent herd will face culling and sorting for important caprine tasks: males will live to the next season for breeding within the herd or sold to other herds, and viable females will stick around for production of milk, which can serve as liquid for cheeses or in cosmetics. Potentially some goats who are neither fit for breeding nor milking will go up for sale as pets or sent to farms who raise goats for food production. Milking the Goatmachine is an atypical pair of goats though; they never made it to feed or breed. These German-born cloven-hoofed heathens escaped the goat-industrial complex to persevere as guardians of galvanized riffs, embodying the spirit of one heavy metal’s most celebrated animal icons. As this demonic duo rolls in with Nach uns die Grindflut, will we be left submerged in the essence of a rumination most foul?

These goats have been chewing the cud for over a decade now, managing to expel two albums since the last time the esteemed Mark Z pastorally praised 2015’s Goatgrind. He had noted that MtG often resembles prolific acts like Misery Index and Dying Fetus, albeit with none of the neoclassical bombast. With head tucked and horns bared, MtG continues to push many shades of brutish death metal with punky flair, even ramming through the walls of full-on grindcore (“Piccolo im Streichelzoo,” “Waddema”). On past outings, goat-themed comedy remained central to MtGߵs identity—it’s possible this newest outing has equal attempts at humor, but they’ve pulled a Falconer and switched to their native tongue (German) for Nach uns die Grindflut. As such, for an international audience, the music must stand even taller since the comedy will require way too much translating and reading for the average death metal goon1—but guess what? It does!

More than anything else, MtG aims to beat their furry chests with every verse and chorus. Again, nothing about this album screams of complexity, so it comes as no surprise that vocalist (and drummer2) Goatleeb Udder (Knife) keeps his utterances high on impact, low on interpretation. Nach uns die Grindflut is not a sophisticated soiree, with some tracks devolving into zero brain cell pig squeal or gurgle-burp breakdowns (“Kackeball,” “Ein Stall am Wörthersee”). Bottom-heavy tremolo marches (“Raus mit die Viecher,” “Stallhalla”) steer heaving barks through the withers-rumbling grooves of mid-90s death metal with a in-your-face hardcore backbone. And, in a rare moment of melody and elegance for the title track, Goatleeb manages to summon a murderous bleat for a battle-cry chorus that rivals the humanistic brutality of melodeath champions Amon Amarth.

However, slamming 14 songs in just over 40 minutes does cause a bit of a curdle along the way. The buck behind the strings (both 6 and 4), Goatfreed Udder (Demonbreed), has a limited—if satisfying—bag of tricks. Goatfreed’s thick bass tone maintains a satisfying presence, particularly popping in chunkier, punkier assaults (“Am Zaun der Zeit,” “Mutter, der Mann mit der Milch ist da”)—the thumping rarely stands out, but its warm crawl keeps a steady pulse. In complement, Goatfreed keeps his primary guitar tone hefty and dry, which allows the percussive twang to accent a thrashy stampede (“Ist der Huf erst ruiniert”) or bend to a stanky groove (“Ein Stall am Wörthersee”), allowing similar melodies to fulfill different purposes—self-referential without being entirely self-plagiarizing. Even still, some of the groovy retreads (“Mutter der Mann mit der Milch ist da,” “Warum liegt hier Stroh”) don’t land as hard as others, and while they’re not skippable, they tread the line.

Though late in the lifespan of the average goat, Milking the Goatmachine continues to prove that there’s no need yet to take them out to pasture. From kid to yearling to the now gray-muzzled warriors they are, Goatleeb and Goatfreed (joined live by Steve Shedaway and Lazarus Hoove) show no signs of turning their weathered coats into mohair battle vests. The inclusion of their natural tongue on Nach uns die Grindflut provides enough additional conviction to keep this album feeling choice. Goats should always exists in at least a pair, and this Udder family proves time and time again the power a herd mentality can provide to groovy deathgrind. While they may not be the cream of the crop in today’s loaded and diverse death metal scene, this German institution’s consistency is a sight to behold. Here’s to hoping that this isn’t the last season for Milking the Goatmachine.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Release
Releases Worldwide: June 24th, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. If you are German, or can understand German, and have commentary on how hilarious this album may be, please let us know in the comments!
  2. Live footage confirms that he really can do it all.
« »