NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: January 31st New Music Releases

 

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King Hobo – Mauga

Upon the release of its eponymous debut album in 2009, there was a serious buzz around US /Swedish supertrio King Hobo. This was largely caused by the involvement of Clutch drummer John-Paul Gaster, but that criminally ignored the input of Per Wiberg and Thomas “Juneor” Andersson from Blues-Stoner purveyors Kamchatka. Ten years later the band finally returns with sophomore long-player Mauga (Weathermaker Music) and whatever opinion the listener holds for the results, it will surely redress the balance for all three members. Continue reading

King Goat – Conduit

 

king goat conduit album cover ghostcultmag

Brighton-based quintet King Goat has been gathering plaudits for a couple of years now. While their brace of EPs has been highly regarded, however, debut album Conduit (Self-Release) rips up that benchmark and propels the band’s reputation skywards.

It’s the Progressive, Eastern influence within their Low-end metal that has held listeners in thrall, and right from album opener ‘Flight of the Deviants’ that blends with a quirky, Karnivool-esque base and some Gary Moore-flavoured leadplay. The whole is given vivid colour by the alarmingly powerful voice of Anthony ‘Trim’ Trimming, Averill-like in its tone and versatility and just occasionally touching on Ozzy Osbourne’s high notes.

Each track here is a story in its own right, ‘…Deviants’ switching pace in segments, the spoken elements rivalling the scene-setting qualities of this year’s debut from The King Is Blind. The instruments swirl and swell around the vicious rasp of the three-quarter section before dropping into a Trad Metal-tinged coda, the leads howling their agonies after being a hidden star throughout.

‘Trim’ reaches new heights on the ensuing ‘Feral King’ yet, while his staggering power and range is undoubtedly the lead factor here, the contorting body of the track shows all five protagonists to be stars of this pulsating show. Its winding, crushing centrepiece still retains delicacy in the incredible harmonising of harsh vocals, whilst the ominous drama of the close is a joy to witness.

The title track, a paradox of complexity and simplicity, sees the seamless blend of hulking melody and crushing brutality reach its apex, whilst rarely breaking a slowly skipping tempo. The heartfelt melancholy mixes sublimely with those soaring eastern patterns, its choir-assisted third quarter a soaring triumph leading to emotional euphoria and a roaring coda. That barrelling force segues into ‘Revenants’, the guitars dancing tremolo patterns through steady yet intricate rhythmic pummel; yet the gradual drop to the gentle, sinister interlude is a thing of moving beauty.

Closer ‘Sanguine Path’ is an Occult-tinged Death-Doom workout somewhat at odds with the rest of the album, yet no less striking and fully conveying the resigned despair. Quite simply this is the kind of accomplished, intuitive greatness most bands hope to reach by the third or fourth album of their careers, yet rarely do. The UK has provided the Metal world with one bona fide classic already this year: here is another piece of staggering magnificence to rival and possibly surpass it.

9.0/10.0

PAUL QUINN

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