King Goat – Conduit
Conduit by Brighton progressive doomsters King Goat is an extremely accomplished piece of work, and is especially impressive to say that it is their first proper album, having already released two EPs in 2013 and 2014.
This is a grown-up album, written and arranged with maturity, intelligence and a deft of touch. Whilst many bands in the modern-day doom genre tend to focus on riff worship and undie-ruining low end, the Brighton five piece take more of an old school approach, concentrating more on dark textures and brooding atmospherics. They’re definitely closer on the spectrum to bands like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride than they are say, Conan or Bongripper.
One of their most striking features is vocalist Trim. Although his theatrical crooning may not be to everyone’s tastes, there is no denying the man has an impressive set of pipes on him. And that said, the aforementioned crooning is only one aspect of his style; he’s also got a pretty decent range on him. This is non-more-evident than on the album’s title track, during which he goes from high pitched and note perfect wailing to brutal death growls and even a touch of Mongolian throat singing. At his most powerful he doesn’t sound too dissimilar from one of our own local scene’s most accomplished vocalists, Alex Hurst of Boss Keloid/The Hicks.
Trim’s dark, poetic lyrics fit the music perfectly, telling tales of Satan, strange beings and treacherous journeys into the unknown. Seeing as the band’s name is a reference to the Baphomet, it should come as no surprise that the Dark Lord himself makes the odd appearance throughout Conduit, for example on opener Flight of the Deviants and track two Feral King, which it should be said, blend into each other so seamlessly they may as well be one 15-minute-long song.
Although there are only five songs on this album, you shouldn’t feel short changed; it still runs at almost 45 minutes long with every song going comfortably past the seven-minute mark and penultimate track Revenants sprawling out to almost 9 and a half. Over that time a whole host of ideas are explored, with King Goat being unafraid to explore more contemplative, delicate textures and juxtapose them with romping classic metal.
Overall, Conduit is an interesting and engaging listen and definitely one of those albums that reveals new depths with every spin. That said, my only qualm would be that whilst the record is well thought out, well written and played by extremely talented musicians, there are no real stand out moments. You know the ones that grab you by the balls and make you sit up and pay attention. It’s just a couple of massive hooks or gut-wrenching riffs away from being a masterpiece.
Words: Adam Robertshaw