There’s an awful lot to be said for atmosphere. If a band possess sufficient art to completely envelope you, to transport you away from whatever your current surroundings are and place you firmly within their world, then they’re doing something right. If you’re anything like me, then they’re also very likely to have done a great deal to have captured your undivided attention. If they marry this with absurdly catchy hooks, lyrics evocative of an Andrew Chumbley grimoire and the imagery of windswept ritual grounds, then I for one am sold.
Year of the Goat are a band that understand atmosphere. They know what it is to enrapture and ensnare, to the extent that within 30 seconds of debut EP Lucem Ferre, their aural ectoplasm has spewed forth from the speakers, completely enveloped the listener and brought them entirely under their spell. This is the sound of the door between worlds being opened, of every Lovecraft protagonist taking their first tentative steps into the unknown and submitting to the sweet intoxication they find within, before realising too late the sinister that lurks beneath the surface. This is groove-centric, 70s-worshiping doom-rock with a heart of absolute darkness.
Coming straight out of the new scene of sabbatic doom, the four-track Lucem Ferre EP is an astonishing work. Through some alchemy or other, there’s more substance in these four tracks than most bands manage across a full-length release. It’s not just that the music is so utterly transportative, it’s that it has an incredible degree of depth. Riffs develop and overlap, circling and enveloping each other. Backup vocals linger, below the main-mix, woven into the fabric of the music and becoming one with the instrumentation. Meanwhile, Thomas Eriksson provides an incredibly compelling lead vocal, soaring through a number of ranges, each as convincing as the last and issuing forth from the speakers with power and sincerity saturating every line that he sings.
This is an astonishing debut, and one can only hope a sign of things to come. Few bands sound this self assured after a number of studio albums and being able to deliver to this degree on an initial EP infers huge promise from Year of the Goat. In every conceivable way, this is an essential release.
Check out their web-presence at https://www.facebook.com/yearofthegoat