Year of the Goat haven’t had the best of starts in life – injury, great upheaval, internal friction and possibly more has meant that the Swedish quintet have had to push back the release of their debut Angels’ Necropolis further than they imagined. Praise Satan then, that the record finally sees the darkness of their retro sound birthed into the shadows with classic tones and occultic structures. It’s been a funny old year for the Devil, bands have risen from the depths of Hell to glorify His name in many different ways yet the standard for mystical movements has been deeply rooted in the vibrations of the 1960s/70s landscapes. It’s curious that this type of music has somehow completely reinvented how we see bands calling on the Unholy one and its bands like Year of the Goat that have spurred on such a terrifying aspect of the dark side. The Devil’s Blood, Ancient VVisdom, and Sabbath Assembly are all groups that invoke the dank mysteries of the lower abyss and Year of the Goat owe as much to such peers as they do to the more metallic side of the spectrum – see Watain, Secrets of the Moon et al for comparison and the obvious nods to the masters Black Sabbath.
Angels’ Necropolis is a record of obvious darkness told with a traditional narrative and clean infectious melody – “A Circle of Serpents” - and the title track throws in some nifty vocal lines from Thomas Sabbathi that veer towards the hypnotic and before long you’re completely entranced before you even realise how far you’ve fallen. “Voice of a Dragon” breathes with the flame of terror whilst the guitars stir the fires of a passion for the unknown, climbing towards an ever moving entity of the most blasphemous nature.
It’s delightfully mesmerising and Year of the Goat are enthralling in the most deviously sinister way. They trick and treat their way through Angels’ Necropolis with such style and devilish grace that it’s difficult to tear yourself away even when you’re left wondering just how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone, and whether there’ll be something following you for all the rest of your days. Watching. And waiting.
8.5 / 10
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