Artist: Year of the Goat
Album: The Unspeakable
Label: Napalm Records
Reviewer: Jan Jakobsen (VENOM_IST_FALSE)
¨Lucifer is not fallen, he is the force that rises above such silly concepts as moral absolutes and eternal torture for non and petty crimes.¨
The satanic psych/doom rockers of Year of the Goat areback with their sophomore album, The Unspeakable and tasked with a difficult job in trying to outdo their debut Angel’s Necropolis. They emerged in the scene in the aftermath of the Ghost hype together with loads of other bands that took heavy influence from Pentagram, Lucifer’s Friend, Black Widow and Blue Öyster Cult. Year of the Goat managed to make a name for themselves by creating a brand of neo psych/doom rock that sounded epic and majestic while also having lyrics that sounded more mature and more refined than Ghost. The satanic imagery and theme is 100 % there, but the lyrics are more akin to orthodox black metal than any other genre.
Starting the album with a 13-minute long epic is certainly a bold move, but All He Has Read is probably one of the best songs of the album and time flies when you’re listening to this track. The stuff that Marcus Lundberg and Dan Palmroos does with their guitars is captivating and beautiful. Pillars of the South is as close to Blue Öyster Cult you can possibly get without actually being Blue Öyster Cult. You can’t possibly avoid joining in with singing SOOO HIIGH together with Thomas Sabbathi. Speaking of vocals, Sabbathi’s performance on this album is incredible. I’m usually a riff-type of man, focusing more on the riffs than anything other in my rock and metal music, but on this album the vocals are so strong that it has the main focus throughout most of the record. It just makes sense to have this man singing about demonic possession while hailing Satan. Sounding both fragile at times and powerful at others it makes the listening experience just even more powerful.
Vermin instantly reminds me of The Devil’s Blood and Jess and the Ancient Ones with the incredibly catchy guitar riffs together with the mellotron. The mellotron is usually in the background throughout this entire album, but it is moved forward on Vermin. Black Sunlight has a weird western thing going and feels a bit out of place on the album, but as a standalone song it is quite good. I prefer my albums to flow though and in that sense, it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the record.
The Key and the Gate is from last year’s EP features probably my favorite lyrics from the album. The book of the dead is calling, from pages of human skin, words burning in my mouth, bow down and greet the old ones. Yep, that is fucking badass. All this while hailing Yog-Sothoth, the fictional character written by the great H. P. Lovecraft during the chorus. Riders of Vultures finished the album on a high note with some excellent guitar work and some really interesting melodies.
If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of occult rock, then this album will leave you pleased and happy. This album will also work great as an introduction to the dark and mysterious music that is occult rock.
- Jan Jakobsen