Hard on the heels of their debut album Coduit, UK doom outfit King Goat return with a massive album, full of sprawling lengthy tracks which pound and crush. With only one track delivered in under eight minutes, you quickly realise that this album needs time to appreciate. Opener Rapture, at just under ten minutes in length quickly sets the scene, a meandering, thunderous track which conjures up Candlemass and Electric Wizard amongst others. Eremite's Rest follows, a skull crushing, haunting beast which sees vocalist Trim in full flight.
If you saw Paradise Lost on their February UK tour, then you’ll have had the opportunity to see King Goat in action and you may well have been impressed by what you saw. Certainly, Debt Of Aeons has masses to excite; dynamic and operatic, such as the soaring title track whilst there are many crashing riffs which thunder throughout the release. Powerful from start to finish, with complex changes of pace and time and aching with atmosphere, this is a beautifully paced and intense album which can only impress once you’ve committed to the journey which King Goat will take you on. Solid, impressive and massive. 8/10
Skeletal Remains: Devouring Mortality (Century Media)
There is little to say about this release. It simply destroys! From the opening track Ripperology to Internal Destestation, the Californian’s who took their name from a line in a Demolition Hammer song go full throttle for the jugular. It’s 100mph, a swirling slashing maelstrom of sinister and evil intent, underpinned with a groove and melody that makes it accessible yet retaining the lacerating approach of all-out death thrash metal. For a three-piece, SR make an awfully intense sound that demands your attention. Adrian Marquez’s driving bass combines majestically with Mike Delao’s powerful drumming whilst the Schuldiner-like vocals and blistering guitar of Chris Monroy adds to the sound.
As he stated “It’s a bit more technical compared to our first two albums and we have also used seven string guitars for some songs to add a heavier edge at times, but overall it has the same sound and feeling of our previous releases: Old school death metal from the late 80s and early 90s with a little bit of our own taste added to it!” With the Album mixed and mastered by Dan Swano (Opeth, Bloodbath) and impressive artwork courtesy of Dan Seagrave (Suffocation, Entombed, Dismember) and influences of such legends as Death, Obituary, Carcass, Cancer and Testament all on display, this is an album that every metal head needs to listen to. Brilliantly brutal. 9/10
Cattail Brew: It’s A Bit Difficult Really (Cargo Records)
Cattail Brew: three quarters American and a quarter Scottish. The Scot in question is Fin Muir, the voice of Waysted, the band formed by ex-UFO bassist Pete Way who achieved a high level in the 1980s. Muir’s smoky, husky voice, often drew comparisons with countryman Rod Stewart, but it’s in this latest guise, with two thirds of Ohio based hard rock outfit American Dog in guitarist Steve Theado and drummer Keith Pickens along with bassist Joe Viers from Southern Rockers Snowblynd that Muir is currently hitting the heights once more.
It’s A Bit Difficult Really is a quality album, merging Southern rock, blues, and hard rock to produce all killer and no filler. The necessary arrogance of The Faces, Skynyrd, The Black Crowes and even a soupcon of UK blues rockers UFO is all present and combine to provide some superb music. Theado’s guitar work is magnificent, for example on the eight-minute plus Glitter, or the extensive closing track The Time’s Come. and the blues-soaked Fishbowl Blues. This is elegant, creative and full of self-assured playing. So, worth getting a copy and wearing the damn thing out as this is one of the releases of the year. 10/10
Nale: Death Skulls Satan (Black Lodge)
Formed in 2007, Swedes Nale hit the ground running on their second full release with opening track Slither, a dirty cross of Devildriver and Rammstein. It’s gnarly, aggressive and in your face. It doesn’t slow down, and the ferocious assault continues with Filth, which hits more traditional metal core territory. In fact, sticking a label on this snarling pit bull is quite a challenge. Tomas Åkvik’s crunching riffs, Mathias Blom’s hostile vocals delivery and a mix of styles make Death Skulls Satan an intriguing release. Dead Man’s Song changes pace again, a roaring biker anthem that Orange Goblin would tiff the hat toward and that continues with the high-octane title track which has more than a ladle of the mighty Motörhead thrown in.
The acceleration continues as the album motors forward, Exit and the blistering No Escape simply race away at top speed. Drive sits alongside such luminaries as Napalm Death with a 54 second track full of pace and power before the slower, pounding hammer of The Black restores the girth. By the time you get to the balls-out Pigs, if you aren’t breathless then you haven’t got a pulse. This is brutal, chaotic and heavier than Satan’s dirty laundry. 8/10