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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Goatess - Purgatory Under New Management

Goatess. I can’t say I had heard of this band before. The first thought that came to mind for obvious reasons when seeing their name and the album title ‘Purgatory under new management’, was that this must be a black metal band. Well, that was a huge mistake, Goatess is in fact a stoner doom metal band with quite some psychedelic influences. It’s a four man outfit from Sweden, with Chritus as the vocalist, Niklas on guitar, Peter on bass and the drum stool taken by Kenta. Chritus is not exactly unknown in the metal world, having been the vocalist in bands like Lord Vicar, Saint Vitus and Count Raven. Officially the band has been formed in 2009, but before that it was already a project of Chritus and Niklas named Weekend Beast. They changed the name in 2012 and shortly after that enjoyed their first release in 2013 when their self-titled album saw the light of day, which was very well received. Now they are ready to introduce their latest work to the world, when in April ‘Purgatory…’ will be released.

It starts off with a ten-minute-plus song called ‘Moth to flame’ which shows Goatess’ true colors. After an intro that puts you off track a bit you’ll soon find yourself in a musical atmosphere that sounds familiar to about every single metal fan in the world. There simply is no way to ignore that this could easily be one of Ozzy’s songs back in his early Black Sabbath days. The slow pace, the buzzing guitars, the heavily humming bass, the drum lines with the distinct cymbals and, maybe most striking, the remarkably Ozzy-like voice of Chritus, everything is there. This is no criticism, on the contrary. It’s quite an accomplishment to be able to create that sound and a compliment to be compared to it at that.

This sound, this atmosphere, these resemblances, they’re not coincidental. Though there’s more influences audible, the link to the old Black Sabbath work remains the common thread throughout the entire album and it’s obvious that Sabbath’s music has been a great source of inspiration. Songs like ‘Shadowland’ and ‘Good moaning’ prove that. However, make no mistake, Goatess is in no way a simple Black Sabbath rip-off, there is much more to them than that. Even within the first song it becomes clear they didn’t get their skills from a single source. The dreamy, sometimes psychedelic arrangements complemented by some soundscapes that flow into some of the songs’ doomy base rhythm give the music a completely different vibe at times, take a good listen to ‘Wrath of God’ or ‘Crocodilians and Other Creepy Crawling Shhh...’, a song that, apart from having a hilariously weird title, is a story of its own.

It’s safe to say Goatess has delivered a solid album, that shows their growth since their first release. Although unmistakably influenced, and heavy at times, by the early Black Sabbath and probably a bunch more bands from that era, they manage to keep it far from being a rip-off of said band. On the one hand they accomplish this by adding some psychedelic, avant-gardistic elements to the songs that change the vibe and on the other hand by showing their personal touch and composing preferences in the song structures. It’s very nice to fancy yourself in new surroundings with a familiar atmosphere. A must-have for many rock and metal fans, from the old-school Sabbath adepts to the psychedelic doom believers.

Written by Henric van Essen



  1. Replies
    1. Press release says they parted ways with Findus and they hired Peter now.