All For Naught, the debut album from Goatcraft certainly caught us by surprise, the release an introduction to a band which from name alone we had made inaccurate assumptions about. The name, song titles, and to some extent the cover art brewed thoughts of a band unleashing either or a mix of black, death, and occult metal with a serpentine breath as toxic as its sound. What strikingly emerged was an instrumental album which certainly moved through the insidious breath of those genres but is a neo-classical bred feast of key sculpted tracks soaked in and breeding the most compulsive shadowed ambiences.
The album does not take long to make those preconceptions a distant thought as track by track it ignites and inspires thoughts, imagery, and emotions which relish and feed upon its inciting sounds. Elegant and intensive, the release is an intrusive and captivating tempest of passion and creativity from a project borne from the frustration of its creator in regard to the state of occult and other extreme and imposing genres at the time. Formed in 2010, the solo project of San Antonio based Lonegoat was soon creating strong impressions as it began playing numerous shows opening for underground metal bands across Texas. From initially a sonic keyboard attack the sound evolved and was refined into an enveloping encounter of neoclassical piano layers wrapped within atmospheric cinematic ambiences and noir whispers. Released via Forbidden Records, All For Naught is a truly unique encounter, the result of Lonegoat creating music in isolation overlooking the dark suggestive waters of Texas which leaves the listener bristling with vivid colourful questions and scenarios which can only be resolved and explored through further involvement with the album.
Opening track Call Me Judas slowly immerses the senses in a brooding velvety ambience which offers rich menace and satanic seduction. Immediately one is thrust into thoughts of seventies/eighties Italian horrors films, the piece a dark hearted dramatic wash which would have perfectly suited and driven on a Tenebrae or Suspiria. The resonating voice of the off kilter piano is sensational and with the throaty lure combines for an enthralling and emotion igniting fire. The track is the perfect example of each individual and distinct track and their ability to provoke feelings and mental situations, its personal journey sparking images of encroaching shadowed corners and beckoning dark temptation reaped from a malevolent yet tempting insistence.
The intense and emotionally pressuring enticements continue with compelling and skilled imagination through the likes of Infinite Death, the intricate weaves of synths and keys which deliciously haunt Journey to the Depths, and Isolation Ripens, a track which embraces the first cinematic efforts in tone and innocence yet driven by a blackened melancholic passion which opens up a multitude of emotive investigations.
Across its whole expanse, the album ensures every note and breath of the release is impacting, emotively and mentally incendiary, the composing and playing of Lonegoat stunningly innovative and impressive. Its classical seeds ripple and engross not only musically but also with the literary and cinematic essences which pervades each piece of passion enslaving music. For music which is devoid of everything but keys of numerous descriptions and a production which allows them to breathe and tell their narrative with an honest and raw yet refined craft, the intensity it bears upon the senses is immense and again startling, a presence which numerous full on black metal albums would fail to blossom within the listener.
Some tracks are mere whispers in time and others with a prominent stance, all of which holding the deepest attention. Further exceptional highlights come with Laconism of the Cosmos and Consciousness is a Disease, but to be fair every piece of music is sensational and richly inspiring to thoughts and emotions. All for Naught is an album which will surprise, maybe even shock and wrong foot, but it will also bring rewards unlikely to be found or felt elsewhere, rewards which incite the fullest fires.
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