Year of the Goat

Angels' Necropolis

Written by: BV on 30/12/2013 21:25:21

Now, Year of the Goat is a band I have dealt quite a lot with these past few months. Having both attended their recent gig at a local venue, whilst also covering their entire day at said venue in an extensive feature article for, I can honestly say that I have quite a good idea of what lurks ahead when setting about to review “Angels’ Necropolis”, the band’s debut full-length. This occult-sounding piece of hard rock, filled with a trifecta of heavy-hitting guitars, gut-busting bass and genuine rock n’ roll drum-bashing, is but the latest in a recent surge of albums/artists that are hell-bent on reviving certain parts of the 60’s, or in this case 70’s, aesthetic of music – thus yearning for a raw and honest soundscape infused with hard-rocking contemporary elements plus an affinity for the occult.

As such, album opener “For the King” has a ferocious bite to it that is quite evident from the get-go. The plethora of dual-lead guitars is as thrilling as it is corny, yet somehow it never really feels like it’s ‘too much’ at any given point. The highly orchestral sounds coming from the use of a Mellotron add a grandiose feel to it all that perfectly underlines the subtle, yet quite enthralling vocals. At this point it feels rather relevant to mention that the sound of the record is nowhere near as heavy as the sound of seeing them live – leaving much desired space for the finer qualities of the songs to really stand out, such as the incredibly rich-sounding aforementioned Mellotron which was quite inaudible when I experienced them last. Add to all of this a face-melting guitar solo, and I think we’ve got the package covered.

As we approach the title track (clocking in at nearly 10 minutes), the band takes on a quite progressive edge – leading my mind towards the later 70’s where prog-rock seemingly had its heyday. With its soothing guitar intro and its mellow feel, the track eventually goes on to become a near-epic centerpiece of the album – one that, above all, stands out as an integral part of the album as it sets quite the befitting mood which sways back and forth between the groove-laden guitar-virtuosos of the band and the soulful Mellotron + vocal combination, effectively displaying both sides of this particular coin.

Unfortunately so, the album’s second long-runner, “Voice of a Dragon”, does not fare as well as the title track does. Leaning on many of the same ideas as “Angels’ Necropolis”, “Voice of a Dragon” comes off as distinctly ‘slow’ as it never quite picks up the pace to match the level of the preceding tracks. With that said, “Voice of a Dragon” probably isn’t a bad song at all. It just never really reaches a point where it seems on par with the remaining album. However, if “Voice of a Dragon” is a low point of the album, it seems safe to say that Year of the Goat have managed to create quite the enthralling album that fans of occultism-infused rock n’ roll will inevitably enjoy. I know I have, that’s for sure.

Download: Angels’ Necropolis, For the King, A Circle of Serpents
For the fans of: Kadavar, Blue Öyster Cult, Sabbath Assembly
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.12.2012
VÁN Records

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