Artist: King Goat
Our Verdict: 8/10
Release date: Out now
Find it at: kinggoat.bandcamp.com
Review by: Graeme Blackwell
Brighton’s progressive doom-mongers unleash their thundering and expansive full-length debut
Brighton-based harbingers of doom King Goat have pedigree, having previously delivered two solid EP’s of heavy, progressive clout and proved singularly impressive in a live setting. With the passing of time and each new release, the band have made auspicious forward strides, developing their sound and songwriting skills and mining rich new depths with their music as a result.
The band’s self-released debut full-length, Conduit, continues in that vein, being a highly accomplished colossus of expansive and captivating doom, making use of a monumental pairing of dense, low-end fuzz and towering melodic highs. Beautifully side-stepping the progressive trap of quantity over quality, these 5 songs and 42 minutes are undoubtedly King Goat’s best work to-date.
Lead track “Flight Of The Deviants” begins with an ominous spoken word intro before the crack of a snare and a rumbling drum fill herald the arrival of a gut-wrenching bass riff and – perhaps Conduit’s most impressive instrument – the pulse-quickening might of vocalist Trim’s hard-hitting voice. Weighty choruses continue to build momentum until a couple of minutes in, when Trim lets loose and the band take full flight, imposing a change of tempo to particularly dramatic effect.
“Feral King” brings an almighty swaggering groove, riding the portentous clang of an ancient-sounding bell and again wisely giving room to Trim’s astonishing vocal prowess. Witness the majesty of his control as he rises up and sings the name of the song’s titular protagonist for the first time, for example. But in one fell swoop, King Goat again demonstrate their honed songwriting chops and sonic flexibility, dropping into a staccato refrain that skips and jumps ahead and allows Trim to unleash an equally impressive death growl.
Title track “Conduit” brandishes a similarly captivating groove before deploying the blunt-force-trauma of a wall of thundering noise that crushes everything in its wake. Its feral heaviosity impresses all the more owing to the impeccable sense of space and pacing in the preceding tracks, as well as the Eastern progressions and haunting choral passages that follow in the song’s latter half.
The 9-minute central epic of “Revenants” seems to run the full length of King Goat’s aforementioned gamut, including skillful riffing, varying vocal styles and slower, more melodic segments. Even closing track “Sanguine Path” surprises in the best possible way, taking a turn for the sludge-laden end of the metal spectrum and expanding the album’s reach wider still.
Conduit’s economic running time means that there simply isn’t an ounce of fat here, everything about King Goat’s new collection galvanising the feeling that, with their debut full-length album, the band have now ascended to a new level of songwriting and musicianship, able to take their rightful place as one of the UK’s doom metal finest.
“Conduit” is out now and available via King Goat’s bandcamp page.