June 5, 2013

Filthy Music Review - 'Year of the Goat: Angels' Necropolis'

Year of the Goat - Angels' Necropolis (2012)

Van Records

Review by Wayne Simmons

Occult rock’s pretty big right now. For the uninitiated, we’re talking melodic rock harking back to the good ol’ days of Coven and Blue Oyster Cult and Rocky Erikson. Think bands like Ghost B.C., Blood Ceremony, The Devil’s Blood; mixing upbeat melodies with occult-themed lyrics and imagery.

It’s a strange bedfellow for the doom movement. The lyrics may draw from the same well, but the music itself seems so different. Sure, there’s the odd Sabbathian riff to be heard, but for the most part occult rock is a very commercial affair. In fact, a lot of what you’ll hear is so sweet and tuneful and distinctly EU that dark thoughts of Eurovision might cloud your mind. And we’re not talking Lordi here…

Sweden’s Year of the Goat is one such band. Formed by members of Griftgard back in 2006, the band released EP Lucem Ferre in 2011. Their first LP, Angels' Necropolis, released in 2012, carries forward much of the same sound.

Fellow Occultsters, The Devil’s Blood, may be a starting point for Year of the Goat. There’s similar trebly guitar at play for the most part. The vocals are clean, even venturing into crooner territory. But the song structure is more classic rock; the overall sound nowhere near as psychedelic as Lemouchi & co.

At times, this album bears more in common with mainstream rock bands like Muse than it does with anything even remotely doomy. You have some progressive-lite moments, most of them during the title track’s hefty 10.31 running time. And then comes a track like This Will Be Mine or I’ll Die For You with the layered chorus line and raspy guitar that sounds… well, AOR, to be absolutely honest. Other tracks, such as Spirits of Fire or Voice of a Dragon have a more pagan feel, a la Blood Ceremony. And then there’s closing track, Thin Lines of Broken Hopes, which takes all of the aforementioned vibes and influences and slides them through a blender, throwing some epic doom in for good measure, to create another 10 minute opus.

Year of the Goat are not going to be for every metal fan. They definitely fall into what some call ‘Satanic Pop’, perhaps even more radio-friendly than the likes of Ghost B.C. But for those with an open mind and a clean palate, Angels’ Necropolis is a solid record that’s well worth a spin.

Track listing:

1. For The King
2. Angels’ Necropolis
3. Spirits Of Fire
4. A Circle Of Serpents
5. Voice Of A Dragon
6. This Will Be Mine
7. I’ll Die For You
8. Thin Lines Of Broken Hopes

Angels’ Necropolis is available now through Van Records

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