Prying open shadows: an interview with Lonegoat of Goatcraft

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All For Naught, the debut album from Goatcraft is one of this year’s biggest impacting releases so far, a release which ignites and inspires hungry thoughts, imagery, and emotions through the neo-classical bred instrumental shadows and compulsive ambiences it holds within its walls. An intrusive and captivating tempest of passion and creativity reaping the essences of black, death, and occult metal and infusing them into unique and emotive key sculpted tracks which offer a powerful narrative and soundtrack to deep questions and experiences.  Goatcraft is the solo project of San Antonio based Lonegoat, and the innovative musician allowed us the pleasure to find out more about the album, his music, as well as touching on the existence of us all and other thoughts.

Hello and thanks for taking time to talk with us at The RingMaster Review.

Tell us about the spark or inspiration which brought Goatcraft to life.

Hi RingMaster. Thank you for taking the time to write these questions.

During 2010 I woke up one morning and had a cup of coffee; then I decided that it’d be worthwhile to kill some time by recording a seventy-plus minute piece on piano. It was done in one take and sounded decent enough to keep. I burned some discs; inscribed ‘Lonegoat presents Goatcraft’ on them, then I figured it was good enough to mail around to my friends. The responses were positive and the advice from them was to do an actual project.

Shortly after, I recorded the tracks that were on the Goatcraft demo that PaleHorse Recordings released.

The concept that stemmed from the demo has been extended into the album. I believe it’s better executed than the earlier recordings.

Information about yourself has stated you were disillusioned with the state of music in your favoured genres, has your frustration at the Occult and death metal scenes tempered now with the release of your stunning album All For Naught or is it still a fire which drives you on as much as your creative exploration?

I perceive the occult as if I would an esoteric thought process. The esoteric should never be commercialized in bland forms. I’m not keen to how some metal bands use the esoteric for commercial reasons. They usually water it down and make it ‘fun’ and ‘hip’; something that aimless people latch onto for an image.

Honestly I think my viewpoint on reality/existence/consciousness is the driving factor. In the end we’re not even dust. The sun will supernova; the universe will eventually return from whence it came. I think a realization of how minuscule our existence is could provide a better understanding in our lives. What are we to do with this time? I would rather defy the crowdist method and devise something that is my own.

Do you feel the audience has also changed along with the direction of those genres and if so do you feel you have to rebuild an appetite goatcraft 3in people as well as that of the music itself?

Of course the audience has changed since its inception. A lot of extreme metal has been commercialized. It’s a ‘product’ that isn’t very profitable except for a few gimmicks that parade around like carnival acts. There are good bands that have defied the rock music mind-set and stayed true to their concepts. However, I think all of this stems to Metallica. They ushered an influx ‘jocks’ into the scene in the 80‘s.

Further, metal as a whole has become much more accessible. Those who are truly interested in it will unearth the classics, as well as delving into other quality acts.

Tell us about those early times of the project in 2010, did you find a ready to accept audience at live performances from the start or did they need some persuading that your ‘return’ to the original vision of the aforementioned areas of music was a hunger they could also devour?

Much like an author collecting ideas for a story, Goatcraft was in its adolescence stage during 2010-2012. I had grown weary of playing in bands, but I went through many changes for my own personal project.

Mike Browning from Morbid Angel and Nocturnus has been telling me since I was 20 to do this project. I suppose acknowledging my own abilities then fermenting a purpose to it solidified the concept. Now that the project has established itself, I will extend and strive to further Goatcraft.

I read that there were times where more people came to shows to focus on your work than other bands on the bill, even the headlining artists, how many artists did this piss off? Ha-ha

There were only a couple of shows when this happened, but no one was upset. They were rather small events; most of the time I’ll play first to set the mood for a death or black metal show. I’ve received the ire from numerous bands that have toured through. Negura Bunget, Eclipse Eternal, and many others have confronted me after playing.

What came before Goatcraft for you and your creativity?

I’ve spent most of my life wandering, as if trying to find some sort of meaning or purpose. The ultimate conclusion that I’ve came to is that there’s only nothing. We’re the result of cosmic randomness. I recently turned 28 and I’ve lived all over the United States and Japan. I figure it’s time to imprint myself on this world. However small or large; there will be something of me left behind for others to unravel. We create our own purpose and shouldn’t falter from indirection.

How have your sound and your approach to it changed from those opening steps of Goatcraft to the emotive and striking sounds on the album?

The result of the newer compositions is of a better understanding of what I’m executing. Some of it is off-the-cuff, but my abilities are strong enough to not warrant dwelling on certain compositions to death.

735203_417690538308337_726228950_nI am right in believing from reading the promo sheet for the release that the rich ambience aspect which powerfully evokes the senses and emotions on All For Naught were not yet explored in the initial invention of the band?

The effects of ‘wind’ or ‘wisps‘, have always been an underpinning to heighten the sound of the piano for Goatcraft. Those sounds can also be heard when I perform live.

What was the trigger to expand your imagination and exploration into those rich and compelling shadows of sound too?

There wasn’t a trigger other than having preferred the settings after years of playing. It’s the most sensible sound for what I want to convey. I don’t foresee this changing in the near future. If there is experimentation, it’ll be warranted and not aimless.

Can you tell us about the period when you refined and honed your sound to what has emerged on the album, and how long did it take to write the impacting All For Naught?

I recorded a few hundred tracks in 2012. I decided to choose the pieces for the album from personally liking them. However, I’m sure that I have some other pieces that people would enjoy.

There is a very cinematic breath to the album, though more in being a soundtrack to personal and social shadows and malevolence than for an actual movie, though they could also frame such a thing perfectly. Was this an aspect you wanted to craft within the music or something which has naturally bred itself?

The cinematic nature of the album emerged naturally from how I conceptualize music. Music to me is storytelling, or letting different melodies and riffs tell a story by how they change over time. Much as in metal, which is usually told from a history or “big picture” viewpoint like religion or biology, my music denies the human individual. Reality is given the foreground, and humans are tiny little yeasts clustered in a corner, forgotten. When you think about it, most music is about an idealized human individual in a situation of high emotion. Yet in life, all of the most important moments aren’t that way. You have to think about something broader than the human individual and its animal emotion. This gives Goatcraft the “epic” feeling that is also found in movie soundtracks.

Some pieces are pure elegance with equally rich dark tendencies whilst others are raw intensity upon the senses coated in sheer ambient beauty, how easy is it to combine both extremes for a mutual impact?

Both elegance and sonic intensity are techniques that are used to tell a story. If you make the whole album one or the other, it will end up either saccharine or redundant. To avoid this, I treat all of my techniques as colors being applied to a painting. You don’t want too much of any color, but you do want a balance. You can mix colors, but if you do it too much, the painting is washed out and looks like an error. The result is that there is a balance between elegance (sacredness) and intensity (the profane). Like life itself, it is the divine nature of consciousness clashing with the crass and “bottom line” reality of survival. Together these two portray life both as it is, and how it can be.

Another aspect which I love about the album is that tracks make their ‘statement’ than leave, meaning pieces can last a brief breath of time or tell a longer aural narrative, no toying with excesses and outstaying the potency of their impact. When does a piece of music tell you that it is at that point?

I am thrilled that you regard to it as a narrative. I believe I’m executing a musical narrative in Necroclassical.

Is there an underlying theme across the album, a thread which links each piece of music to each other rather than an overall umbrella of intent?

Human negation can be frightening for the average ego bound individual, or it can be something of beauty in regards to how powerless we are to Earth’s elements.

Have you read about the Toba catastrophe theory? One volcano bottle-necked human evolution 75,000 years ago. We’re long Goatcraftoverdue for another cleansing. Overpopulation, ecocide, religion, politics, false sense of self, and so forth would be put in their places by a new major catastrophic mishap.

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone turned off their TV’s and looked at how horrible we’ve kept ourselves and surroundings. Perhaps it’d still result in war and commerce. Devolution appears very probable regardless of any societal progressions.

Humanity will recoil.

Can you tell us about your personal presence within the music, how much is bred from your own beliefs and personal experiences and how much is just creative imagination as the seed?

Do you like Salvador Dali? If I’m not feeling any motivation for challenging myself, I’ll immerse myself in some of his paintings to clear my mind. Beksinski used to be a good inspirational source as well. I also wrote one piece after reading HP Lovecraft’s Ex Oblivione.

What is next for yourself and Goatcraft?

I’m writing more music for a split with the Neoclassical Dark Ambient project Khand. We’re talking to labels, but I have a feeling that Forbidden Records will be involved.

After that, I suppose it’s time for the second album.

Again many thanks for talking with us.

Thank you for taking the time to inquire about my exploits. It means a lot.

582397_407624472648277_817307193_nAny last thoughts you would like to share?

Only a few resources that I’d like to direct people to if they’re interested in checking out Goatcraft.

Stream the entire ‘All For Naught’ album:

The Official Goatcraft Website for happenings:

Forbidden Records for the physical copy of the album, as well as $5 CDs in the distro:

Goatcraft on Faceplant:

Thanks again!

Read the All For Naught review @

The RingMaster Review 11/04/2013

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Supuration – Cube 3


Despite forming in 1989, French band Supuration has only made its first introduction to the Ringmaster Review with new album Cube 3, the third of a trilogy of albums which began with the first instalment in 1993 and the second coming a decade later. It is an enthralling and magnetic release which even without being able to raise comparisons with its predecessors stands as an intriguing and intensely pleasing encounter.

Hailing from Valenciennes, the trio of Ludovic Loez (keyboards, bass, guitars, vocals), Fabrice Loez (sampler, guitars), and Thierry Berger (drums), has released numerous records alongside the trio of albums, not only as Supuration but also with their more progressive incarnation S.U.P. (Spherical Unit Provided). First album in the trilogy Cube as mentioned made its entrance two decades ago with the second Incubation following in 2003, both to strong acclaim, something the band is prone to receiving across their aural guises. More often than not tagged as progressive death metal, Supuration with the new album alone shows that the label is quite limiting to what is explored and ignited within their diverse and unique imagination. Released via Listenable Records, Cube 3 engages the brutality and black depths of death metal with the soaring expanses of progressive metal undoubtedly, but equally blossoms essences of post punk, groove metal, and avant-garde discord driven invention to their fullest potency within continually twisting and slightly twisted sonic alchemy.

Opening track Syngery Awakes grabs the ear like a bear, its muscular paws a predatory encounter with deep sinewy grooves covercarving the senses before unleashing scything sonic lashes around the growling vocal malevolence of Loez. The track proceeds to gnaw and brutalise whilst equally seducing with melodic veins of instinctive and tempting elegance musically and equally through clean vocal harmonies alongside malicious squalls for an explosive and enthralling confrontation. The track is like a blend of Sybreed, Livarkahil, and Opeth with whispers of a Karnivool or 6:33 making their quiet yet pungent contribution at times.

The following Introversion takes the mere thumping beats of Berger and taunting guitar provocation to strike a further intensity in focus and brewing passion for what is on offer, the song a stalk of rugged riffs and punchy rhythms speared with infectious guitar flames and persistent grooves which feel familiar yet unrecognisable.  The clean vocals again add an extra scintillating texture to the tempest around them whilst the warmth of the melodic breeze wrapping the sturdier gait of the track, is a wonderful mystery to the rising intensity at the heart of the track.

The Disenthrall and Consumate both intrude upon the senses with startling invention and all-consuming mastery to only increase the now rampant ardour for the release. By the time the pair have ravaged and laid down their irresistible temptation, the album has secured a long-term persuasion no matter what is to come in the latter part of Cube 3. The first of the two is a brief but potent sonic frenzy with raging riffs and equally virulent rhythms which is as much part industrial as it is death or progressive metal, with the air of early Killing Joke and Fear Factory at mischievous play even if not a loud shout sound wise. The second stands over the listener like a hulking leviathan of ravenous riffs and intensity , the drums caging and cutting off any escape so the vocals can scowl and chant over the carcass of the exhausted senses. It is another outstanding violation of thoughts and synapses with the richest of rewards to exhilarate with.

The second half of the album is equally as impacting and aggressively spellbinding with both The Incongruents and The Delegation exploiting the now opened up rapture for the release with riveting imaginative endeavours, the second of the two a carnally invading provocation which is as diverse as it is unreasonably catchy. Though both songs slip slightly below the heights of earlier songs they still excel with tantalising breath before passing over to the excellent Data Dance, the song just one more electrifying pinnacle. Unpredictable and emphatically ingenious with a creative entrapment of epidemic proportions, the song leaves the listener wanting for nothing and bloated on primal intensity and glorious imagination.

With the closing duo of The Flight and The Climax doing no less than bringing a final collective triumph to the album, Code 3 is a stunning slab of progressive death metal or brutally hungry progressive metal, whichever way you look at it, the album is immense and the trigger to go explore the band past and present much deeper.


RingMaster 11/04/2013

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Devil To Pay – Fate Is Your Muse


Returning with their fourth album Fate Is Your Muse, Indianapolis rockers Devil To Pay continue to feed the hunger for rich powerful and impacting rock n roll. Combining the richest essences of heavy intensive rock with fires of stoner and sludge flaming intensely within, the album is an irresistible feast of perfectly sculpted sounds muscular and evocative. It offers what you expect from the band and the genres they seed their creativity within but delivers it with an enterprise and near hypnotic embrace which can either squeeze the breath from the lungs or mesmerise out a submission to its inventive lures, often combining both in a singular blaze of sinewy seductive persuasion.

Formed in 2002, the band has ridden numerous obstacles as they drove forward. A year after forming, Devil To Pay saw vocalist/guitarist Steve Janiak hospitalized after a medical emergency and placed in a drug induced coma.  Despite the grim prognosis of doctors, Janiak came through despite being besieged by visions and hallucinations from the ‘other side’ because of it and the band strode on to release debut album Thirty Pieces of Silver the same year. Creating a strong response for the album the band hit the touring road and despite the setbacks of dissolving record labels, a continual change of rhythm guitar players, tour van breakdowns, and a lack of proper distribution the quartet released their second full length Cash Is King in 2006, to be followed by the acclaimed album Heavily Ever After and the DVD 48 Minutes both in 2009, all self-released by the band. The year before the third album Devil To Pay found guitarist Rob Hough who joined founders Janiak, bassist Matt Stokes, and drummer Chad Prifogle, and for many the moment when things truly clicked for the band as Heavily Ever After readily proved. Released via Ripple Music, Fate Is Your Muse is a powerful return and though it arguably does not markedly improve on its predecessor, the album is easily its match and partner in cementing the potency of the band, both releases thought provoking and passion inciting temptations.

Within a breath opener Prepare To Die easily captures the imagination, its striding riffs and muscular rhythms ridden by the DTP_LP_cover_forprintexcellent tones of Janiak, his gravelly vocals shaping the lyrical narrative with compelling expression and varied textures. The track is an infectious stomp which shifts upon its core intent with magnetic teasing from the guitars and roaming bassline, but from first note to last it is a direct and forceful riff fuelled thrill marking an anticipation for the album ahead though the band are not slow in offering open diversity starting with its successor. Wearin’ You Down is a slow burn of incendiary blues kilned riffs and classic rock swagger all slowed to a Clutch/Orange Goblin like consumption. Sonically pungent and fiery to the touch, the track is a hypnotic inducement with little respect for clean living or restrained peace.

The heavy opening prowl of Ten Lizardmen and One Pocketknife comes next and immediately the track stakes claim as the major highlight of the release though it is continually challenged and equalled elsewhere. The song soon slips into a more urgent gait with the vocals a boisterous expulsion of passion within the charged and energetic stomp of the groove littered treat. A rampant beast with the wares to recruit the most resistant of passions, the song is a QOTSA plays Down type of glory which switches intensity and heat at a blink of a note and with that deliciously contagious insidious groove breaking free at times, the song is rock manna for the heart.

The likes of Yes Master with its mix of intensive progressive rock, weighty riffs, and expressive Soundgarden like shadows, the bluesy stomping Already Dead, and Black Black Heart with its hungry energy yet restrained patience to pounce on the senses, bring further variation to sound and intensity as well as like all the songs a greed to satisfy and ignite the passions, which all do with ease and skilled tenacity. Amidst this trio is This Train Won’t Stop, a track which leaves an exhaustion and grinning pleasure in its rampant wake. As furious in pace and intensity as its title suggests and as heated, the song is a riot of fatiguing riffs and frazzling sonic invention all within a juggernaut of rapacious energy and melodic enterprise. The best track on the album it is animated rock n roll at its very best.

Right through to its completion the album inspires the passions with tracks such as The Naked Truth and the heavy groove laden Mass Psychosis raising major sparks within, though it is fair to say every track achieves that. Simply Fate Is Your Muse is a mighty encounter offering massive rewards for every rock soul’s melodic horizon.


RingMaster 11/04/2013

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Birth AD – I Blame You

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    Rampaging and snarling with a potency and aggressive attack which recalls the richest essences of the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Municipal Waste, and S.O.D., US antagonisers Birth AD and their debut album I Blame You, is one riot to be in on at the earliest opportunity. Fusing hardcore, thrash, and the angry heart of punk, band and release unleash ferocity of attitude and sound which simply riles and ignites the senses in a welcome storm of destructive might. Part nostalgic, recalling the eighties pinnacle of their seeded inspirations, but forged with fresh 21st century spite, the trio from Austin, Texas is an exhausting and fully invigorating confrontation and their album an equally thrilling adversary.

Formed in 2008, the threesome of vocalist/bassist Jeff Tandy, guitarist/backing vocals Brian Morrison, and drummer/backing vocals Mark Perry, took no time in becoming a bludgeoning and potent force across their home state, firing up a loyal and ever growing fan base. The following year saw an eleven-date tour of Japan as the band’s inaugural live outing as well as debut EP Stillbirth of a Nation, the release making an indelible mark on not only the local scene but further afield, which the new Alex Perialas produced album will only brand into the skin of punk and metal even deeper. Released via Unspeakable Axe Records, an offshoot of Dark Descent Records, I Blame You is a honed and instinctive furnace of passion and anger carved into mutually malicious and senses searing sound.

The eighteen track explosion gives no respite from start to finish, the flesh charring intensity of opener Mission Statement with cover artits uncomplicated and forceful declaration starting the furnace of virulent sonic and emotive antagonism which holds its potency and strength right through to the equally barbed and lethally aggressive closer Blow Up The Embassy. In between there is no let-up but within the tempest of corrosive and barbarous fire there is as much diversity and violating enterprise as you could wish from a crossover thrash cluster bomb of violent energy and intent.

In nothing but highlights, maybe something of a surprise in an album of such a large number of tracks, the biggest peaks will focus the review but those not mentioned are only just behind personal preferences and as worthy as any other on the outstanding release. The brawling Failed State seizes the ear with a hurricane of vocal dispute with a repetitive barracking of the senses but it is the niggling grinding groove which steals the event, its insidious presence driving the force and brutality of the rhythms like a sadistic snake charmer. The track is the start of an especially impressive part of the album with its immediate successors Bring Back The Draft and This Scene Sucks also raising the fiercest fires within. The first of the pair consumes with a ravenous appetite and sonic hunger with samples of battlefields adding their energy to the controlling rhythms and scarring riffs, whilst the second taunts with a throaty bestial bass sound before expanding into a predatory and urgent assault with the vocals, singular and en masse, carving their own venomous and anthemic hooks into the irresistible presence.

Tracks like No, Man with its Dead Kennedys like hooked contagion and the title track continue the exhaustive but impossibly addictive lure of the release, the latter of the two barracking the ear vocally whilst a tight thrash lashing smarts but excites, probably more than is legally allowed, around them whilst the excellent Kill Everybody is as savage and uncompromising as the title suggests, the chorus especially a vicious assault to spark the strongest ardour.

Tracks like Wrong Again, No Jobs (Don’t Work), and Cause Problems, though failing to quite ignite the passions as those above, still leave nothing but a full on greed for more and the deepest satisfaction, something which honestly applies to every track on the release. Ok I Blame You is not breaking down new barriers for thrash, punk, or metal, but that is not the point of its existence, the band and album using existing armoury but tuning it with their own precise tools into a striking force which stands aside from most of the other similarly gaited aggressors. A mention for the excellent Parasites Die must be made, the song the emerging favourite here with its prowling groove and teasing stance coring an aural dogfight between sound and ear, of course there is only one winner.

If the likes of the bands mentioned at the top of the review are for you then open your arms for one exceptional collision with Birth A.D.

RingMaster 8.5/10

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