Two years ago, UK progressive doomsters King Goat more than impressed with a self-titled EP; a release awakening a new horde of eager ears and appetites to their dark and invasively invigorating metal exploits. Now two years on, give or take a week or two, the Brighton quintet unleash its successor in the compelling shape of Conduit. The five track album is an imposing pyre of atmospheric drama and psychedelic intrigue for ears and imagination, a dark mystery wrapped in a thickly immersive doom bred challenge and seduction which quickly leaves its impressive predecessor deep in the shade.
Formed in 2012, the band first made their mark beyond a swiftly eager local scene with the Atom EP in 2013. Its success was followed by a slight change in personnel and eclipsed by the band’s aforementioned eponymous EP. The time between old and new release has only seen King Goat build a stronger and broader reputation as they successfully went on to play festivals such as Bloodstock Open Air, Mammothfest, and Doom Over London over the past couple of years and shared stages with the likes of Enslaved, Grand Magus, Witchsorrow, Alunah and many others.
As suggested, Conduit is King Goat at a new plateau of songwriting, imagination, and raw captivation of ears with Flight of the Deviants opening up the swiftly impressing collection of tales breeding unseen spirits, enslaved worlds, and death and rebirth. A spoken sample lays the seeds to the quickly engaging and provocative embrace of the first song, its immediate captivating bait led by the impressive tones of vocalist Trim. Almost like a carnival barker he shares the track’s dark narrative and mysterious nature, his tones a great blend of clean and grizzled textures within an emerging sonic web of melodic suggestiveness cast by guitarists Petros Sklias and Joe Parson. Increasingly sultry and macabre bordering on occultist lit, the track rumbles and infests ears and imagination with increasing potency and success. It is not hard to offer Candlemass and Ghost as clues to the heavily shadowed and thrilling track, and indeed across the album, though the individuality of King Goat dominates as found here; originality only being replicated song by song.
The outstanding start leads to the just as gripping and enthralling Feral King where almost toxic grooves bind the passions as chimes deal a portentous air around them. If the bass of Reza G was predatory within the first, it is almost gloriously primal in the second song while the rapier swings of drummer Jon Wingrove leave a lingering mark and persuasion to match the again immense vocal presence of Trim. The track’s dark story winds around the listener as masterfully as the sounds colouring it; King Goat showing them as alluring lyrically as they are in conjuring adventurous doom spawned incitements.
The album’s title track comes next and quickly sets about eclipsing its predecessors with ultimate success if by small margins such the impressive and dramatic might of all. Again Trim is as impressing in his clean cut enticing as his squalls of raw throated ferocity whilst the bestial predation of bass and riffs provide a stalking of the senses which only adds greater intensity and resourcefulness to the perpetually evolving drama and progressive ingenuity of the track.
Through the epic and climactic landscape of Revenants and the beguiling intimidation of Sanguine Path, the release comes to an absorbing and memorable close to match all before with unique ventures of their own. There is a touch of KingBathmat to the first of the pair, a track sculpting a host of crescendos and intensity soaked pinnacles within another persistently changing canvas of suggestiveness and absorbing enterprise, whilst the closer is simply as salaciously ravenous in invention as it is apocalyptically bewitching in temptation.
As much as it mightily impresses initially, Conduit just gets bigger, more striking, and inspirational with every listen. The King Goat craft and songwriting has come of age with Conduit, and in turn so has their sound though it still suggests we have yet to get below the first few layers of the band’s creative depths. That potential can surely only mean even bolder creative times to come, though whatever comes next will have to go some to eclipse this gem of an encounter.
The self-released Conduit is out now @ https://kinggoat.bandcamp.com/album/conduit
Pete Ringmaster 29/03/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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