From the good ship Argonauta Records (home to Mud Spencer, Orbiter, Superlynx and many, many others) comes Madrid’s Greengoat. The band formed in 2021 and consists of guitarist/vocalist Ivan Flores (Dsgarre/Magnus Ficus) and drummer Ruth ‘Kalypso’ Moya (Suevicha/Dashara/Magnus Ficus). Prior to A.I. the duo put out the four-track 2022 EP Unleash The Fire which I picked up a copy of and was highly impressed by.
It served to whet my appetite for the appearance of this, their latest release. According to the band’s Instagram page, the concept around their latest effort is described as ‘a ride through our dreams about humanity’s relationship with artificial intelligence’ and this appears to be reflected in the album’s sci-fi themed artwork as well.
Void features a spoken word passage from Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics that highlights both robot’s subservience to humans as well as the need for them to be relatively benign. The eerie ambient musical backdrop (think The Mon) brings a sense of foreboding that suggests these ‘laws’ may not exactly be followed to the letter, if at all.
The Seed, the longest track on the album at nearly seven minutes is largely doomy psychedelia that reminds one of Italians Ufomammut, though Flores‘ vocals and the accompanying music during the lighter sections recall Serj Tankian and System of a Down. Once the heavy as balls riffs appear, this soon shifts as the vocals become a lot gruffer ala the late, great Dave Sherman of Spirit Caravan/Earthride. Some nice dynamics and an excellent track all around.
Artificial Intelligence is a topic that seems to dominate the news, whether it is Hollywood strikes or the controversial Elon Musk. Despite the futuristic, digitally inspired subject matter, the music is surprisingly bluesy, earthy and organic. It’s as if the band are not only trying to keep themselves grounded but also us as listeners during the course of the title track. Some points of reference here include Masters of Reality and Wo Fat which makes for some really cool solid hard rockin’ goodness.
I was left suitably hooked and engaged throughout its thirty-eight-minute running time…
Human is a little grungier, think the darker wing of the genre and bands such as Tad. As a huge fan of both that band and Mr Thomas Doyle, this made me exceedingly happy. Awake is yet more sledgehammer sludgy goodness but with some surprisingly melodic vocals that render the whole affair not totally unlike Kerbdog’s classic 1994 self-titled debut and a modern comparison may be Spotlights.
If my research is correct, Naraka refers to the realm of hell in Indian religions; a place of torment and this is definitely the sense one gets listening to Naraka I which comes across like a slowed down High On Fire with some nice apocalyptic Killing Joke imagery, while Naraka II is more subdued in tone and musically more expansive, as is initially indicated by the track’s mellow intro. At times it recalled London’s Gramma Vedetta with its distinct proggy tendencies and strong melodies.
Closer, Burn The End, features some chunky riffing and rabble rousing choruses, giving the track a far more anthemic quality. Some nice Sabbathian Yob vibes feature, as well as cool gloomy goth tinged moments ala Pist On, all of which help draw the album to its suitably downbeat conclusion.
Greengoat have built upon the promise of Unleash The Fire to produce what I would say is an excellent debut full-length album that was a lot of fun to listen to. Despite its progressive inclinations (it’s a concept album after all), I was left suitably hooked and engaged throughout its thirty-eight-minute running time. Definitely well worthy of your time.
Scribed by: Reza Mills