As time passes by, finding new existing music feels more like the quest for the Holy Grail to me. Fortunately enough though, there are a few moments throughout the year that pull me out of that kind misery and
Such a moment was the discovery of KING GOAT some time ago. For those of you who don’t know KING GOAT is a doom metal band hailing from the UK, homeland of some of the finest bands of the genre: CATHEDRAL, MY DYING BRIDE, SOLSTICE, UNSILENCE, PAGAN ALTAR and many more. The band is described as “progressive doom metal”, but don’t think for a moment that “progressive” stands for complexity (as in DREAM THEATER).
“Debt of Aeons” is the long-awaited follow-up to the band’s debut “Conduit” which was released back in 2016. As in “Conduit”, everything you’d normally expect from a typical album of the genre is there, except… in the case of KING GOAT there’s more to add to the story. Don’t get me wrong, the album screams doom metal, but there’s lot of stuff going on under the hood.
The genre has evolved a lot since the day CANDLEMASS did their thing, and these guys seem to have done their homework right. Their music is rather “unpredictable” for doom metal standards and if I had to describe it, I’d [purely subjectively] say it’s a unique mixture of bands like CANDLEMASS, PRIMORDIAL, RUSSIAN CIRCLES and DEATHSPELL OMEGA. So if I were to pick only one word to tag their music with, I think diversity would be my choice: you have your typical Cmass-like riffs, lot’s of prog influences, some of black metal’s unworldliness and all that, topped up by mr. Trim’s epic vocals.
The album comes with seven songs – five of which hit the seven minute mark – running for about fifty minutes in total. And I’d dare to say you won’t find any fillers in this one. Their sound remained true to what their debut inducted us into, but at the same time they are quite a few new elements introduced in the mix. This is more prevalent in the second half of the album, in songs “Doldrum Sentinels” and “On Dusty Avenues”.
Not to diminish the quality of everything else on in the album, but we need to give credit where credit is due and that has to be the vocals. The vocalist, Anthony “Trim” Trimming, approaches singing in a way similar to A.A. Nemtheanga (PRIMORDIAL) and ICS Vortex (ARCTURUS, LAMENTED SOULS), with lots of mid-range and some brutal/screaming parts. Being a huge fun of these vocalists, I’d have to say I was blown away by the vocal work on both albums of the band. The vocals was what got me hooked to KING GOAT’s music and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
So to sum it up: living up to the expectations your critically acclaimed debut album has defined is challenging. Lots of bands fail to do so, but KING GOAT is definitely NOT one of them. “Debt of Aeons” is a great album that will please everyone who enjoyed “Conduit”.