Good morning and welcome once again to the wave of progressive stoner metal which has been washing over us for several years now. This time, we are proud to premiere The Ghost Next Door’s A Feast for the Sixth Sense, a politically charged exploration of groove, riffs, and the powers they hold. The album’s centerpiece is probably the…
Ah yes, a progressive stoner/doom review! This means that there’s a formula this intro paragraph takes: first, we tell you all about how progressive stoner/doom has seen a huge proliferation of releases in the past few years. Then, we ironically make the point that the main issue with the genre is repetition (ironic seeing as how these reviews tend to touch on the same point). Then, we either regretfully inform you that this is the case here or that a certain band has managed to break away from the mold. It’s usually the latter, since we like to review releases we like (shocking, we know). Now that that’s out of the way, can we please get to the amazing album that is King Goat’s Rapture?
Progressive stoner metal is in an interesting place right now. On one hand, there’s a slew of releases being published. Bands like Family, Warm, King Goat and, of course, Intronaut and Baroness are all bringing their on take on odd time signatures veiled in thick riffs and a waft of smoke. However, there are also appears to be a certain lethargy and repetitiveness which is inherent to the sub-genre as a whole. Something about the main type of dynamic between vocals, riffs and production is stagnant, going beyond signature and style and into the realms of repetition and imitation. It’s a good thing then that we have Barishi to break the mold. Their brand of progressive stoner metal takes plenty of risks and is the better for it; Blood From a Lion’s Mouth was released a couple of weeks and is a great indication of the possibilities of the genre.
In the past few months, we’ve presented you quite a few bands that use vocals in an interesting and non-genre typical way. Chief among those was Moontooth, with their blend of blues vocals and progressive metal. King Goat is another one we’d like to especially mention as well, overlaying unique, clean vocals over progressive doom. Now, we can add another band to this roster and lo and behold, they’re also relatively unknown and small. Here’s where we’d usually go on a tangent about how innovation breeds in the outside of any musical scene but we’s spare you; you already know the drill.
Visions are a progressive metalcore band in their instrumentation through and through: catch riffs inlaid with technical lead, interesting drum and bass roles and all the emotional impact you’d expect. However, their vocals are slightly different on the clean end, composed more for catchiness than sheer aggression, painting the album in a different shade. However, where the above bands integrated the idea beautifully into their own original, instrumental ideas, here those vocals are often a substitute for something completely exciting from the rest of the band. This makes Shake the Earth a good album but one with plenty of wasted potential, potential which bubbles beneath the surface and never really erupts properly.
King Goat have basically managed to inject new energy and dynamic into the tired stoner/doom formula. Much like HARK before them, they’ve found a new way in which the pieces of the musical puzzle fit. The fact that they’re unsigned and relatively new makes perfect sense. Innovation lies in the periphery, where the need to outperform the competition is all. It’ll be interesting to watch them from now on, to see exactly what they’ll do with the new exposure and upcoming music. Will they deepen their unique take on the genre, turn to more conservative avenues or throw us another curveball? One can only hope for the latter, since King Goat at their best when keeping us uncomfortable and on the edge of our seats.
In the kaleidoscopic jigsaw puzzle of King Moat’s sound there are flitters of deviance and disorder. Deviance from current genre troupes. Disorder stemming from the unpredictable nature of each progressing passage of their music. At it’s most primitive, it’s mean. At it’s heady heights, unnervingly addictive.
Sometimes I like my music to have an element that kind of sends it over the top, so to speak. Not in a corny way, but similarly to the way that Ghost has their unique vocal style and Frontierer has a super unique “beehive” sound with each song. It’s fun to listen to and really seems to break the monotony of listening to metal. While I love the genre as a whole, it can grow tiresome without a small break or change of scenery. King Goat do both, combining elements of doom metal with spaced out prog/stoner/heavy metal, and now you can snag a free download of their track “Conduit”. Check it out