Album Review: Year of the Goat, The Unspeakable

By Andy Thunders

Year of The Goat is an Occult Rock band, Hailing from Sweden, formed in 2006, Influenced by Coven, Black Widow, and other dark 60’s psychedelia, they have a unique sound, atmospheric, evil, and melodic as all fuck. Taking a modern spin on an older genre, it is absolutely fantastic, and out of this world.

Year of The Goat’s second full length album, released in 2015, The Unspeakable, is a dark, evil, neo-psychedelia masterpiece. A follow up to their debut Angels Necropolis, it expands on their unique approach to music, complete with a mellotron.

First track “All He Has Read,” is the longest track, clocking in at 12:43, and starts off with creepy whisper chanting to the dark lord, with a tribal drum beat, setting the mood for the album. The music picks up and it sounds amazing. The production is brilliant, taking an old style and making it modern, it doesn’t sound dated in the least. It continues with atmospheric whispers, and a tolling bell, going into an Iron Maiden like riff and music structure, on barely distorted guitars. It kind of sounds like Ghost meets Muse, which is not an insult, it is incendiary.

Sounding epic, as the lyrics command, “OPEN THE SEAL.” The music on this track then slows down, to a soft arpeggio on guitar, with mood enhancing mellotron, which give you a feeling of standing on a dark mountain with a foggy mist surrounding you, which is intoxicating in itself, and if it doesn’t give you chills, then you have no soul.

The second track, “Pillars of The South,” starts off with a 60’s sounding old school guitar riff, and goes on from there. This band definitely specializes in atmospherics, and the song is brilliant. It has a break, with just vocals, and mellotron, which is akin to a hymn in church, except evil. Definitely a nice touch. The two guitarists do not over play, but seem to intertwine on the solos at the end of the song, making it just right, bloody beautiful.

The third track, “The Emma,” starts off slightly doomy, similar to that of Candlemass, and goes into a dark circus like mellotron lead beat, like if the Doors were a bit darker than they were. Slightly similar to that of Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar), but slower, and darker. The vocals range between normal, and dark, eerie falsettos, it sounds like it could be in a horror movie. It makes you want to dance around a fire with a pentagram in the ground.

The fourth track, “Vermin,” starts off with a dark, pounding, groove, with a great riff, and mellotron echoing. Very much 60’s sounding, with a heavy metal beat, so powerful, and full of Yardbirds’ like guitar fills. Almost has a H.I.M. like vibe, but not quite as wimpy. The break has a nice cowbell, and guitar passage, with what sounds like a choir singing some backing vocals, singing hymns to the Unholy one. A searing guitar solo, absolutely cuts you like a knife, and just absolutely brilliant, followed by a short mellotron solo as well, definitely one of the best tracks on the album.

The fifth track, “’World of Wonders,” has a dirge-like intro, which includes mellotron, and starts off like something from Uriah Heep. It then has a pounding bass drum, and guitar effects, and mellotron for the first verse, and moves and builds. It’s slightly moving, and very menacing. Has a soft, Grateful Dead like break, then goes into the solo. Which is sounding medieval like, which is very brilliantly executed.

The sixth track, “The Wind,” starts off with some mellotron notes, and has a slightly lighter sound than the last, a upbeat tempo, with lyrics about being dragged down to hell, it’s so melodic, and menacing. With a solo of dual guitar leads, in harmony, it is reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult. The mellotron riff from the beginning, then plays again with the drums, and leads back into the awesome chorus. There is nothing about this song I do not love.

The seventh track, “Black Sunlight,” starts off with a riff that sounds like the Who meets The Yardbirds, and goes into Santana styling, it is brilliant, with mellotron keeping the atmosphere going in this dark masterpiece, with a choir again singing backing vocals. Then at the solo, it again has a Santana style, a bit of flamenco stuff.

The eighth track, “The Sermon,” starts off with a soft guitar opening, and then the drums come in, and mellotron, and some Pink Floyd like phrasings. The vocals prove very emotional, and the chorus kicks into pure rock, with very sinister lyrics, filled with abominations, “we gather for the sermon now, blackness will crawl upon the seeping walls.” Followed by a guitar solo, that has a nice amount of wah. Another one of my favorites.

The ninth track, “The Key and The Gate,” a rerecording of a song off their previous ep, is amazing as well. With dual guitar harmonies, starting it off. It is straight up rocking, and with a chorus in Latin, it literally is incredible. With lyrics like “The book of the dead is calling from pages of human skin/Words burning in my mouth/Bow down and greet the old ones/As they repossess the earth/You watch from the great beyond/ The howl of the horde is calling on/La chiave, la chiave e la porta.” This album is just full of absolute paradoxes, evil music coming from beautiful, atmospheric, psychedelic influenced music.

The final track, “Riders of Vultures,” is a dark, soft dirge like tune, but yet beautiful. The intensity you can feel, and the lyrics are sung so beautifully. Sort of similar to Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats in a way, with a slow, menacing groove. A perfect song for a descent into the ground. There’s a pause for a guitar and mellotron interlude, with vocals and drums coming in after two run throughs, this band definitely is the best in their game, their music is so interesting, yet simple.

All in all, this album is perfect. It completely destroys the stereotype, that heavy metal, and black metal, are the most “evil” genres in music.

The band creates soundscapes that are so beautiful, that if you didn’t tell someone they were satanic, it would be something fans of some mainstream rock would totally dig.

Track listing

1 All He Has Read
2 Pillars Of The South
3 The Emma
4 Vermin
5 World Of Wonders
6 The Wind
7 Black Sunlight
8 The Sermon
9 The Key And The Gate (Alternative Version)
10 Riders Of Vultures

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