King Goat are a progressive doom metal band from Brighton, UK, who formed in 2012, members are Anthony ‘Trim’ Trimming on vocals, Reza G on bass, Jon Wingrove on drums, then on guitars Petros Sklias (lead) as well as Joe Parson (rhythm), with four released works, ‘Atom’ (2013), a self-titled EP ‘King Goat’ (2013), a re-released single ‘Nuclear Messiah’ (2014), & finally, ‘Conduit’ (2016), the album I’ll be having the pleasure of reviewing in this article.
Flight of the Deviants, the first track of the album, is a brutally beautiful, example of applying contrast utilising clean yet powerful vocals with a rougher, darker, doomier sound with an eastern touch. This track leaves the listener with a feeling of empowering brilliance with a close that is as terrifying as it is genius, ensuring the listener is well and truly hooked from the very first song!!
The second track of the album, Feral King, truly does justice to its title. The song is almost Candlemass-esque in nature at times, including the same powerful feel from the last track but augmented with the addition of well.. feral.. sounding vocals, make no mistake, it truly transitions the album to an entirely new feel in the perfect way, this is a song that’ll have you banging your head before you even realise it!!
Conduit, the title track, is incredibly indicative of some of Opeth’s earlier work, though somehow remains just as original as the rest of King Goat’s artillery, the epic melodic vocals rise the track up then guide the song right down into some darker doomier territory, where the instrumentals really take over the haunting sound that really lures you in, slowing it down without removing the powerful awe conveyed throughout, accented by the chant-like low vocals really driving the feeling to some deep grim terrain, then Trim’s being accompanied by operatic female vocals bringing more feeling into a song one would think almost impossible at this point. The song then goes into a very hard, riff & percussion based frenzy & back down into a soft outro. This track is a rollercoaster of absolute excellence.
The forth song off of the already god-tier album is Revenants, it begins with a definite, driving sound, then brings you to an unexpected atmospheric period, holding you in a glorious feeling of suspense, then slowly the vocals return in a quieter manner, I found this bridge too beautiful to overlook as a mere ‘waiting period’ as is the feel with so many other bands that attempt to incorporate atmospheric elements into their music. It does last a good length of time but is well worth it as the return, yet still slower in nature, brings with it the dominant vocals of Trim we’ve grown to love throughout the album. Not long after this the track picks back up into a progressive feat of pre-eminence one would expect of a band with at the very least a decade under their belt.
Up next, the very last track, is Sanguine Path, starting off with a slower eerie intro, the song soon brings in a heavy, dark, oppressive, almost blackened feel, enchanting to experience, a true masterpiece of mixed influence blended in with what I can only think to call sinister perfection. To bring so many different elements into the one track and actually pull it off as well as these gentlemen have is a triumph rarely seen amongst even the most talented of their respective peers, incredibly impressive.
Walking into the album I’ll admit I was unsure whether or not I was going to have to give them a less than savoury review seeing as I’ve seen bands come & go trying to achieve what these unmistakeably talented individuals have without quite meeting the standards I’d consider worthy of the efforts, regardless of apparent musical talent and knowledge. However I’m glad to have been pleasantly surprised, from the very first minute I was truly captivated. This band, though not having been around as long as many in their field, have appeared to create a sound, though evolving through their works, is perfectly representative of how to professionally blend a myriad of genres in a way many have tried & failed to do without sacrificing their ability to keep their own unique sound intact, truly a task many musicians have had difficulty achieving to the level of distinction King Goat have acquired. Like many of the greats before them they’ve been able to create a sound that is powerful, emotive and undoubtedly noteworthy, brutal & invigorating listening experience. All I can say is they’ve found a devotee in me, I’ll not be surprised if these guys make it big within the next few years, I for one thoroughly look forward to watching them progress further in the years to come.