Friday, July 26, 2013

…Embrace the unholy mother of angels: GOATESS – ‘Goatess’ (Album Review)

With a doom/stoner pedigree and reputation that precedes him, Chritus Linderson really needs no introduction. All of the  projects that he’s been involved with—the criminally underrated ‘C.O.D.’ album with Saint Vitus, the groove-laden psychedelia of Terra Firma, and the epic doom of Lord Vicar—are easily among the finest that the genre has to offer. Enter the Goatess. The collective efforts of Chritus (vocals), Niklas (guitars), Kenta (drums), and Findus (bass), originally formed under the moniker Weekend Beast, have released arguably one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Without a doubt, it delivers.
 The unifying sound of the band’s self-titled debut relies heavily on a stoned, repetitious low-end groove which is accompanied by moments of impending doom and bluesy, blissed-out otherworldly excursions. As far as Linderson’s other projects are concerned, ‘Goatess’ has an overall sound that shares more in common with his stint in Terra Firma, most notably on the first half of the album, opposed to the more straight-forward doom of Saint Vitus, Count Raven, or Lord Vicar. But fans of his more traditional doom efforts won’t be dissatisfied, particularly on the epic two-part “Oracle”. The first part, “The Mist”, is the ethereal calm-before-the-storm. It’s a melancholic, spacey introduction that is ultimately blasted into oblivion under the crushing weight of part two, “The Oracle”.  Mesmerizing, heavy, and gasp-inducing, “The Oracle” is a definite album highlight that occupies the smoke-filled realms of both stoner and doom with an arch-enchanter’s precision.
 While not officially a part of the two-track “Oracle” movement, “King One” acts as a companion-piece both thematically and musically and finds Chritus at his most venomous and acerbic. The track is another exercise in hypnotic heaviness that ultimately breaks down into a contemplative, spacey interlude before resuming the devastation. The Urizen-like triptych tale of the “Oracle” two-parter and “King One” are the core of the album from which the other tracks emanate. ‘Goatess’ concludes with “Tentacles of Zen”, an epic, twelve minute tune that allows the listener to catch their breath and ultimately unwind. This closing track isn’t without its surprises as rhythmic, tribal drumming and exotic riffs serves as a musical interlude suited for the Bacchanalia, or in other words, for copulation on a cosmic scale.
 Those who have followed Weekend Beast and the band’s eventual metamorphosis into Goatess in anticipation of a full-length can finally revel in the sonic, doomed-out bliss that is the band’s self-titled album. While ‘Goatess’ is rooted firmly in the stoner-rock camp, there is enough heavy, be-slothed riffs to satisfy even the most discerning doom-heads. With not a weak track on the album, ‘Goatess’ is a welcome addition to the canon of heavy music and another excellent addition to Chritus’s irrefutable résumé. Drink it down, smoke it up, and bow down to the Goatess…
 Words: Steve Miller

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