In the last couple of years Lavagoat have released from the dark woods of Canada two of the finest and dirtiest blackened doom albums to have crept across the frozen North and into my play lists, namely the exceptional self-titled debut and the crushingly heavy ‘Monoliths of Mars’. As such it was a no brainer when the editor put the new EP ‘Weird Menace’ my way. With a single eighteen minute track it promised another slice of their extended take on the genre, maybe with even more of the reference to HP Lovecraft and Michael Moorcock that had previously peppered their albums.
What instead arrived was instead a single track which split into six different movements, each with their own flavour. ‘Possess the Exorcist’ is a flurry of Venom heavy doom and roll, the simple battered riffs and growled vocals guaranteed to have fists pumping and hair flying in joyful abandon. This is followed not so much hard and fast but slow and dirty by ‘Doomfinger’ with a riff that reeks of the earliest Sabbath outings, but accompanying a vocal delivery that makes Ozzy sound like Aled Jones (a boy treble chorister for anyone reading this outside the UK). This funereal rumbling mutates into a psychedelic effects heavy instrumental dubbed over with the sound track of a mad scientist movie, before the pace briefly builds up and the vocalist spews forth his demonic growl, the EP finishing with the energetic thrashing blast of ‘Headless Priest’.
Compared to earlier works, where the band explored each track at length, like the twenty minute plus title track on ‘Monoliths of Mars’, ‘Weird Menace’ positively romps past at a gallop, almost like a taster selection of what the band has to offer distilled into its most concentrated essence and crammed onto a single EP. Lavagoat have a habit of recording their work in short, intense sessions, and the fact that this release is a single take with just a few effects added later is apparent in the energy that imbues every second. The EP is downloadable from the link below for a mere four Canadian dollars, barely two quid, and ‘Weird Menace’ is worth that and more of anyone’s money.