There have been classic masterpieces throughout the history of the sub-genre known as black metal, since the inception of the style. There have been albums such as Darkthrone’s Transylvanian Hunger, Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and fast-forward to later, albums such as The Ruins of Beverast’s Rain Upon the Impure, and Agalloch’s Marrow of the Spirit. Whether traditionally minimalist, or progressively evolutionary, there have been albums that astonished metal fans from top to bottom of such albums, from start to finish if you will.
Count this indescribable, throwback, yet modern, minimalist yet progressive effort in the list of history’s best black metal albums, and is also my top year-end favorite –- Goath’s Luciferian Goath Ritual, care of the rather obscure but reliable Ván Records.
I thought Ván Records had the jugular in Arstidir Lifsins’ album, Heljarkvida. That album was a cavalcade of powerful emotive black metal that worshipped Norse Mythology with fitting tribute. Goath has shattered the barrier that sets the standard for what black metal must ultimately do to impress the most well-learned black metal fans –- they add old-school heavy metal, thrash, second wave black metal, modern black metal, symphonic black metal, and weave them into a fibrous web that caught me completely off-guard, and will do the same to metal fans jaded with the movement.
For truly, no black metal band this year or in the next few years, can aptly do what this band does in sublime obscurity. They destroy preconceived notions of what black metal should sound like, all while entertaining the most bored of black metal fans in a cacophonous display of musicianship and song writing virtue. Sometimes, Goath blasts, grooves, rocks, and suffuses orchestral, acoustic, primitive old school metal touches with arcane consistency. The band has a telepathic rapport in execution and has recaptured old-school metal while adding newer, more melodic, but equally bombastic elements.
I loved this album more than my favorites from last year: Woddrea Mylenstede’s Creda Beaducwealm, and Inquisition’s long winding titled but insanely catchy masterpiece, both modern-day classics in my view. Goath uses big hooks, progressive stop and go nuances, and choral and acoustic segments that fit together beautifully. This is not TV hype or gimmickry. This review is meant to shake you by the shoulders and say, “Listen to this!!!”
No other words do justice.
– Al Necro