Beyond The Gates Books Candlemass, 1349, Whoredom Rife, Hexvessel and Year Of The Goat

Long-running Metal Festival experience Beyond The Gates has booked its final bands for 2020 to complete their lineup! Joining the bill are Candlemass, 1349, Whoredom Rife, Hexvessel and Year Of The Goat. Already announced bands include Mercyful Fate, Opeth, Enslaved, Heilung, Sodom and more! A limited number of 3 Day Festival passes and club tickets on sale at the links below. Beyond The Gates Festival Takes Place August 19 – 22 in Bergen, Norway. Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREMIERE: Nocturnalia Shares “Come Alive” Lyric Video

Scandinavian dark Stoner Heavy Metal band Nocturnalia are releasing a new single this week, on September 13th, ‘Come Alive’ via The Sign Records. The track is their second single from their forthcoming new album III: Winter, due out on November 11th. It will be released by The Sign Records in November 2019. With members from esteemed underground bands such as Night, Forndom, Oblivious, and Year of The Goat, the band has grown bolder sonically in the course of their four previous releases (two singles and two albums). We’re stoked to bring you the debut of their new lyric video for ‘Come Alive’, an expansive, heavy track, with a myriad of influences galvanizing all their hard work. Check it out! Continue reading

Year Of The Goat – The Unspeakable

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In this album reviewing game, and it is a game, most new releases tend to fall into two distinct camps. Camp One is the camp of the major releases from established artists that everyone falls over themselves to get to hear and review first. Camp Two: everything else. The way one views the latter camp can depend on one’s penchant for the new, the unexpected and the downright unusual. As you might expect, Camp Two is sometimes filled with dross and unspeakably bad records from bands who really are quite awful people. Just kidding.

Now and again though, Camp Two throws up records that are so unexpected and so charming, that the artists in question are likely to be promoted, forthwith, to Camp One; Year of The Goat’s second album, The Unspeakable (Napalm) is one such case in point.

This second record from the industrious Swedes is a rich and diverse batch of songs that are both single-minded yet inclusive and progressive. From its studied and passionate opening epic song ‘All He Has Read’ through to the equally fastidious coda ‘Riders of Vultures’, The Unspeakable reveals itself to be a record of quiet confidence, inventive idiosyncrasies and knowing musicality.

Musically, the album takes its lead from those twin towers of doom and occult but The Unspeakable is imbued with plenty of progressive (and I don’t simply mean they write long songs, either) flourishes, the occasional drop of Gothic and a deep knowledge of NWOBHM song structures.

One can only stand back and admire the sheer chutzpah of a band that start a record with a thirteen minute epic but given the strength of ‘All He Has Read’, it is a gamble that pays off handsomely. ‘Pillars of the South’ has many of the tropes and aural colours you would expect from the increasingly crowded scene of occult rock: to these ears it sounds Mercyful Fate met Magnum on a storyteller’s night ( I am more than aware that you saw what I did there).

‘The Emma’s sense of drama is evocative and gripping, whilst the band’s admiration for the rock’s aesthetic is taken to its logical conclusion with the inclusion, quite literally, of more cowbell on ‘The Vermin’. A large slug of gothic wine pervades ‘The Wind’ with its eerie sense of time and place, whilst ‘Black Sunlight’ suggests an admiration for Mark Lanegan and his passion for the desolate, urban troubadour.

There are a lot of NWOBHM influences swirling about the musical cauldron but forget the heritage and consider the final product: here we have a veritable aural feast of musicality, clever influences, familiar tropes and lovely collective execution. It’s the sort of album that you unexpectedly find yourself spending a lot  of time with and thinking a lot about: these, of course, are very good things indeed.

 

7.0/10

 

MAT DAVIES

Year Of The Goat – The Key and the Gate

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It’s been two years since Swedish retro rockers Year of the Goat released their debut album, Angels’ Necropolis and the band is back with a new release, the three track The Key and the Gate EP (Napalm)

Fans of their debut will be pleased to know that their brand of Satan-themed retro pop-rock is still firmly in place, and this EP suggests the next album will be more of the same and up to the same standard.

Featuring a classic NWOBHM twin-guitar lead, the opening title track is very melodic and hook driven. Frontman Thomas Sabbathi’s smooth croons the catchy choruses, while there’s a host of infectious riffs and impressive solos. It’s fun but a bit lightweight. The seven-minute ‘Magic Mountains’ is a slower, blues-inspired classic rock number. Anyone who liked Graveyard’s Light’s Out release will enjoy its haunting power. Filled with classy solos, it’s a great track and easily the highlight of the EP. Closer ‘Non-Euclidean Calculus’ may sound promising, but in reality is little more than a glorified outro; a 70s prog style instrumental of atmospheric keyboards and moogs, it’s a long wind down from an enjoyable but not overly exciting EP.

 

6.0/10

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DAN SWINHOE