King Goat? I’d heard a bit about these chaps from Brighton on Social Media, where they had been getting some rave reviews of late, and so when thee Editor placed this platter up for grabs, I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. King Goat (great name, by the way – if you’re going to be a goat, might as well be royalty), hail from that most eclectic of seaside resorts, Brighton (with apologies to any readers from the mighty Skegness), and this is their third release, having had two Eps to their name before this full length, five track beast.
“Conduit” is certainly a heady album for anyone with more than a passing interest in either Doom metal or Progressive Rock, coming across like much more than the sum of their parts. As with all the best leftfield bands, King Goat produce a special kind of alchemy to the ear. I’ve been genuinely snowed under at work recently, and so I have had King Goat drifting in and out of my earholes for the best part of at least an hour and a half each week day for the last three weeks. “Conduit” has an ebb-and-flow that can progress from the fairly traditional mid-paced doom, through to some actually unpleasant dissonance and vertigo-inducing guitar sections, as in the stand-out track, second song “Feral King”. Within the seven-odd minutes, there are huge granite slab riffs, swinging drum beats and some really quite delicate guitar sections that (and whisper it gently to avoid annoying metal purists) bring to mind some of the more interesting indie bands out there.
While it is genuinely hard to single out any of the band for special praise given the consistently high standard at work here, I feel that special mention should be made of the vocals of Anthony Trimming, who manages to flit between a deep, soulful clean singing voice with plenty of range, through to deep gravelly rasps. It’s an accomplished performance that shows tremendous proficiency, and never more so than on the title track, “Conduit”, which has distinct eastern influences draped under a hefty leaden blanket of almost-organic bass playing.
At just five tracks, you may be tempted to question the value for your hard earned money here, but as any decent doom fan will tell you, it isn’t the number of tracks on offer, but the crushing soul-wrenching heft of your riffs that count. So yes, at five tracks, you may well question the amount of music here, but with the shortest of those tracks coming in at over seven and a half minutes long, you shouldn’t be lacking for intelligent, expertly crafted songs here. There is a real sense of the epic to the song writing, which is helped by a really excellent production that has plenty of warmth and immediacy. All in all, a really great release, and for once, it seems that the hounds of social media may have a point: King Goat ARE good.
(8/10 Chris Davison)