King Goat – Conduit

KG_RingMasterReview

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.

Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe 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

https://www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

Pete Ringmaster 29/03/2016

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Revelation – Inner Harbor

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    Revelation is a band many have acclaimed as providing the seeds and spark for progressive doom metal and over the years since forming in the mid-eighties, the Baltimore band has richly earned and garnered the respect of fans and bands alike for their doom clothed progressive imagination. Admittedly it is a band which has eluded our focus at The RR more often than not over that time, though occasionally we have dipped into their melancholic familiar yet distinct sound without finding the spark to spending an intensive time with them. The release of new album Inner Harbor via Shadow Kingdom, with a vinyl version through Pariah Child, has changed that. The enthralling six track release is not destined to worry end of year best of selections nor send us diving into their back catalogue more intensively but it has a charm and intrigue which makes it hard to leave it alone.

The trio of guitarist/vocalist John Brenner, bassist Bert Hall Jr., and drummer Steve Branagan, have stepped forth with a new, for arguments sake direction for their songwriting and aural presence, Inner Harbor a mellower and warmer seductive persuasion compared to their expected heavier stance. It still carries heavy enveloping shadows and crawling alluring atmospheres rife with intensity but there is an air of light and playful energy which arguably has not featured in their creativity before. It is a relaxed and laid-back encounter with weaves and calming washes of progressive temptation taking the lead before their darker absorbing doom intent. The presence of seventies Italian progressive rock as an influence to the release has been cited and certainly across the tracks thoughts of Goblin were playing upon the surface of thoughts, but the release has many textures and flavours at work and is wonderfully hard to pin down. It is also a little inconsistent and even after multiple intensive plays the final opinion of it is undecided. It is definitely an enjoyable and as mentioned wholly intriguing album which refuses to let go but it never really lights any fires within for a long enough or truly lasting impact but there is still something which calls one back.

The album opens with the fiery breath of the title track, its stoner blues introduction a cautious but inviting welcome especially with the flame of sonic fire from the guitar. As the vocals join the song drops into a reserved stance and loses that initially grip, though the track still holds a healthy attention. The vocals are fine without inspiring any real reaction, their expressionless style lacking against the sounds and almost pulling them into a similarly less than dynamic voice, and in many ways the track epitomises the album. It does not leave flushes of thrills but there is something to it which magnetises and persistently invites an inquisitive appetite. The climax of the song with its teasing groove and lead laden prowl leaves thoughts in question and emotions feeling equally short-changed but equally hungry for more.

The following Terribilita with its abrasive tone and sonic blaze of craft and invention again opens up a depth of interest like the first and with the following sway of the keys instantly offers something new and compelling. Also like its predecessor the song almost taunts and teases the passions into life but lacks the weaponry to seal the deal, the melodic caresses and vocal arms around the shoulder mellowness verging on soporific. It is a deceptive lure though as again the band save the best moments of the track for its electrifying conclusion, the charged groove and elevated pace still veined by the electro brilliance, a rousing crescendo.

Rebecca at the Well opens with an excellent almost vintage punk groove and intensity, the guitars and bass holding a snarl to their intent which is lacking in the previous songs. The heavily gaited breath of the sound has a L7/Damned like spice whilst the drop into the dark slowly consuming bowels of the track for a moment is a predatory menace soon dispelled by the bright hypnotic groove and mutually lit synths which ushers it away. With more than a post punk whisper to it the track is an enticing piece of invention and the highlight of the album though soon challenged by Eve Separated and the outstanding Jones Falls. The first of the pair offers its own addictive hook and groove combination whilst the vocals again without taking a firm grip bring a strong and eager melodic embrace, especially in the adjoining harmonies. Though finding the same problem as the earlier songs in that it has moments where it brings real excitement in between others which only leave a respectful satisfaction, the track undoubtedly beckons with enough to want to share its presence again. The second of the pair starts off with a feel of The Stranglers soon merging with Sabbath like imposing riffs and a sonic growl. Into its stride the track unveils eighties electro shimmering, its acidic touch an unexpected and exciting contagious co-conspirator with the best vocal performance on the album. The song is a bewitching journey through a landscape of ideas and colourful aural scenery, bright yet as across the album not quite finding the clarity to explosively dazzle. It is a great track though and adds to the allure of Inner Harbor even if not able to force a full adoration for the whole release.

Ending with An Allegory Of Want, an enveloping heady want of oppressive air and lumbering emotive, Inner Harbor is a release that will possibly open up a wider presence for Revelation. It does not leave a burning hunger in its wake but plants seeds of that irresistible intrigue which makes persistent entry into its almost puzzling realm a given.

7.5/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

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