Officially, the year of the goat starts in 2016, but with the new release from these Swedes, they hope to start the party earlier. The Unspeakable is out on Napalm Records and is a gem of a record from the first mysterious tones to the end. The band around Thomas Sabbathi (also active in Griftegard and Deadpulse) has put some classic doom out with this follow up to their 2012 debut Angels’ Necropolis.
The sound of this band is quite peculiar, leaning towards the dark and occult here, touching the ritualistic doom on the other. Then there’s the infusion of a Queen sound. That is what makes the album accessible, catchy and pleasant. Overdoing it on the guitars here and there, dramatic effects all over, it’s an adventure to listen to Year Of The Goat with this new release.
The record opens up with the thirteen minute lasting epic All He Has Read. The intro takes forever, but then the classic hard rock sound kicks in. An organ really adds to the atmosphere of the song, but slow the gentle, fingerpicking guitar parts are like rays of light in a darkened cavern. The grandeur is what makes the sound with its the soaring vocals and melancholic words. Somewhere the band captivates a feeling in their music that is not unlike the way The Devil’s Blood did it. The riffs on Pillars Of The South definitely remind me of that sound. The sweet sound of the many voices, in some parts of this song, is what I mean with accessible, a sound with some of the stadium rockers influences. A dark atmosphere and dazzling guitar play compliment the sound even more, giving it this edge of danger.
The grand, lumbering doom riffs on The Emma flow smoothly into a playful rhythm, with an almost Vaudevillian touch to it. The singing style on this track, by Thomas Sabbathi, are fitting in with that, it’s a performance, not just a song. There’s a warm feeling to this record and a full on embrace of the rock ’n’ roll aesthetic, combined with a love for classic drama. The track Vermin even has drummer Tobias Resch hitting the cow bell with enthusiasm. The guitars keep shooting in all directions, making the rest of the track hard to follow for the radio rock listener. Still, it has the same warm, upbeat feeling as those bands your parents used to listen to. That doesn’t mean this album isn’t heavy though. The weariness of World Of Wonders is not in the mighty riffs, but in the subtle elements like the vocal twists and bass loops.
A sudden twist can be heard on The Wind, where the vocals turn to a darker feel, reminiscent of something like those of Andrew Eldritch (Sisters Of Mercy) or Jyrkie 69 (69 Eyes). A dark, Goth feel in the vocals, the eerie sound of organs and the guitar slinging in minor to create a totally new feel to this song. The band shifts again on Black Sunlight, which has a rhythm not unlike that of a soundtrack from a cowboy film. The song has a punch to it, a fiery rhythm and hypnotizing backing vocals. This is the party song of the record, to which you want to sing along and raise your fist. That, I suppose, is the great thing about the record from these Swedes, it’s irredeemably catchy but still maintains a dark side which is present on The Sermon, another one of those catchy tracks with a lot of wailing guitars.
Finishing the deal is Riders Of Vultures, a slow, meandering track with that gloomy atmosphere the band manages to master so easily. It really becomes that big, stadium sing-a-long closer, with big riffs, big chants and continuous soloing on the guitar. It’s the grand finale, where dark references are made as if this is the height of a dark ritual we only now become aware of as listeners. A repetitive riff and occult chanting guides the record to its final moment of silence. This brings the ride that is Year Of The Goat to an end. Another great record, that bridges between the underground and the big rock songs. They do it marvellously, check it out. Really, you should.
Scribed by: Guido Segers