Year Of The Goat: The Unspeakable

theunspeakable

This review marks two Swedish bands in a row, and I’m learning from this Metal-Addicts link that they’re both categorized as “Occult Rock.” Hmm.

Well, I can hear the similarities. Vocally, it’s a clearly sung tenor. Lyrically it’s pretty mystical stuff; Year Of The Goat seems to more of a Wiccan bent, in opposition to the pretty clear Satanism of Ghost. Musically the genre seems to owe a lot to early 80’s metal, like Ozzy Osbourne or Dio (and I wouldn’t be surprised if “Occult Rock” traced its roots back to those artists), most of which is hardly recognizable as what passes for metal now. It’s got moderate tempi and a relatively clean guitar tone with plenty of room for all the instruments and even keyboards and background vocals to breathe.

The most prominent difference between this and Ghost’s latest album is the production, in particular the sound quality. I know it gets pretty broken record of me, but I’ve heard some pretty good sounding records in 2015, and it’s unfortunate that too often some very good songs here get buried under sound that’s way too hot and peaking throughout the entire song.

I don’t know that The Unspeakable would have got much higher than three clowns with better sound, as some of the songs are weak and much longer than they need to be (though they manage to pull off a nearly 13-minute long track to open the album admirably). The last two tracks, and in particular the penultimate, are the worst of the patience-pushers. I do know, though, that it would at least be three clowns with better sound, and I’d love to hear better-sounding versions of the stretch in the middle that runs from “Vermin” through “The Wind.” As it is, it’s just not that fun to listen to.

Rating:
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Like: “All He Has Read,”  “Pillars Of The South”
Meh: “The Emma”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. All He Has Read – 12:44. Starts with jungle drums and horror movie whispers for 1:50. Vocals enter at 4:28. “all he has read will now come to pass”
  2. Pillars Of The South –
  3. The Emma –
  4. Vermin – bad sound, too hot. could be Like with better sound
  5. World Of Wonders – still bad sound but a better song
  6. The Wind – sound particularly bad on this one. would maybe be Really Like with decent sound
  7. Black Sunlight – This and “Pillars Of The South” may be my favorite tracks
  8. The Sermon –
  9. The Key And The Gate (Alternative Version) [Bonus Track] – how is a bonus track ninth out of ten? The title is sung oddly, with “key” and “gate” translated into Spanish, but only those two words
  10. Riders Of Vultures – maybe Like with better sound
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