The Deadhouse

Stereo Terror: Argyle Goolsby – Darken Your Doorstep

Release Year
2017

Track Listing
1) Midnight Approaches
2) The Uninvited
3) Ghost Light Waltz
4) Blood Cave
5) The Brides
6) Mister Babadook
7) Life Without Soul
8) The Black Trance
9) In Votive Light
10) Rose Grows Red
11) Destroy All Humans
12) Dear Theda,
13) Nightsurf
14) Shadow Of The Vampire
15) The Wild Branch Of Rose
16) Washer At The Ford
17) The Black Holly

It’s finally come. After what seemed like an eternity for many fans, the first true full-length solo album from Argyle Goolsby has dropped. The hype machine for this album has been strong, with The Deadhouse fully participating. In case you missed them somehow, you can check out our two-part interview with Argyle Goolsby by clicking here for Part One, and here for Part Two. So now that the album has been out and the initial hype has died down a bit, how does Darken Your Doorstep hold up?

Beginning with a spoken word intro from the legendary Coffin Joe which sets an eerie tone, the album kicks off into the next gear with “The Uninvited.” Darken Your Doorstep is jam packed with hooks so ridiculously catchy they will impale through your skin like you just opened the Lament Configuration. An argument could easily be made that no one writes catchy horrorpunk songs infused with incredible lyrics as Goolsby. Nearly every song on the album has something about it which will draw you back to it, some, such as “Mister Babadook” for several repeats. Having been lucky enough to have seen a recent live performance, “Mister Babadook” was one of the few new songs inserted into the set, and I can assure you that it will be stuck in your head, as it was for me for a solid week before the album was even released.

An infectious energy runs through much of the album, with few songs slowing down allowing you to catch your breath. There are times that some of the songs even feature parts that will remind you of older songs by both the solo Goolsby act and Blitzkid, while also feeling entirely new. This almost feels like a reward for long-time listeners while not alienating new fans. During the few slower songs, such as the first single “In Votive Light”, “Dear Theda” and “The Wild Branch Of Rose” Goolsby is allowed to expand his sound while remaining true to his roots. Even the one re-recorded song, “Washer At The Ford” feels right in the pacing of the album.

While at the time of this review the physical copies have not been shipped, all digital versions include images of the booklet that will be contained within, featuring all the album’s lyrics surrounded by beautiful artwork. Speaking of the lyrics, I’d be remiss to not suggest listening to the album with the lyrics in front of you. While without them the album is fantastic and sounds great throughout, once you are able to grab the deeper meaning of many of the songs and the absolutely incredible lyrical genius of Goolsby, it will allow you to fully embrace the songs and the talent within. I spent nearly a week just listening to the album, and admittedly loving it, but once I took in the lyrics the appreciation only grows even more.

I’ve seen some comments remarking that Darken Your Doorstep feels like a lost Blitzkid album, and while a part of me both agrees and disagrees, there is no debating that this is one of the best albums that has been released in 2017. Truthfully, I rank this as not only the best horrorpunk album to be released this year, but the best all-around album I’ve heard so far, this year. It will be damned difficult for any album to surpass Darken Your Doorstep, which I feel will be looked back on in a few years’ time as a landmark and game-changing moment for the genre. And I can only anxiously await to see what Goolsby comes up with next.

Killer Track
“Ghost Light Waltz” / “Mister Babadook”

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