Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Goatess: Goatess (2013)

Born Again

Lord Vicar is easily one of the most underrated metal bands out there right now, creating traditional doom metal on the same level as The Gates of Slumber. A big part of their appeal is the vocal talent of Chritus, who sounds a little bit like Ozzy with a much fuller voice. So, when I found out Chritus had his own solo project, I had to check it out.

Goatess is said to be an outlet for Chritus’s “desire to create music that is based on atmosphere and the worship of the heavy riff, as opposed to the strictly structured doom metal of Lord Vicar,” according to the promo materials. That’s true, there is quite a bit of Sleep in the way they create memorable, ultra-heavy riffs and then ride them until the riff is tapped out. Opener “Know Your Animal” is the perfect example. But there is more to it than just that.

The man is simply unable to make music that doesn’t consistently reference Black Sabbath. That’s a good thing. The rejiggered “Supernaut” riff in “Full Moon at Noon” is just one example. There's also the redesigned Born Again cover art. But considering the elevator pitch, it’s surprising just how much this reminds me of a couple mainstream hard rock bands that I was into a decade ago.

I don’t want to say it’s like Godsmack filtered through Sleep, but I just did. Let me point you to some of the wordless vocalizations that sound like Sully Erna’s growl, or his echo-effect clean notes. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re peppered throughout the album. More generally, it’s kind of like they took the kind of slower, slightly psychedelic song Godsmack usually put at the end of their records, improved the riff, made them heavier, and put several of them on the same release. And smack me if the first riff on the movie quote sampling “Tentacles of Zen” doesn’t sound a just a little like a much-slower version of Godsmack’s movie quote sampling “Vampires.”

OK, chances are you’ve never been a fan of Godsmack, so you probably won’t pick up on that. For you, it’s enough to know it’s kind of like Sleep, with awesome Ozzy-esque (but much fuller) vocals, and that sometimes the songs go on for a minute or two longer than they should. If you’re cool with that, check it out, and forget everything else I said.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Svart Records


  1. I have that Godsmack album (for shame) and that Vampire song is the only decent thing on that POS.

  2. I own all the Godsmack albums--although I had to double-check Wikipedia to make sure they hadn't released a new one while I wasn't paying attention. They came around at just the right time for teenage me, and I saw them with Metallica in '04 at the only show I've been to where I knew all the words to all the songs. There is a hell of a lot of stuff I've abandoned that I listened to as a teenager and a young 20-something. I'm down to just the first Disturbed album, for instance, and even that one is starting to puzzle me whenever I hear it. I'm not sure it will stick around. Anyway, what I'm eventually getting to is that I still really like Godsmack, or at least their first three albums. It's harder to get into the more recent two because I was already getting into extreme metal when the fourth one came out, and I was past that point in my life.