YEAR OF THE GOAT – Angels’ Necropolis
On first glance by pure name recognition alone, this Swedish sextet Year Of The Goat conjured up images of occult/ black metal. "Angel’s Necropolis" may be evil and dark in terms of philosophy and lyrical perspective, yet stylistically has more in common with 60’s and 70’s artists like Blue Oyster Cult, Black Widow, and others with that easy going, breezy psychedelic hard rock sound. "Spirits Of Fire" ignites passion in my heart through an engaging lead break and the serene melodies from vocalist / guitarist Thomas Sabbathi, while the 10:29 title cut navigates introspective clean measures and an exotic, almost Spanish bolero main riff that gains doom rock appeal.
Later on in the album "I’ll Die For You" is the stand out commercial cut, another fine slice of 70’s inspired domination with a guitar hook part BOC, part UFO, while the cowbell and cool breeze vocal harmonies straight out of California. Year Of The Goat with a three guitar lineup and Mikael Popovic on mellotron really fill up the sonic landscape with multiple layers, often going for the contrasts of a subdued keyboard background as the guitars take center stage, some of the best axe hero worship moments occurring on another 10 minute epic "Thin Lines of Broken Hopes".
Van Records appears to my ears to be one of the best labels going these days, establishing a healthy roster of bands in diverse genres but all with the same vision for keeping their eyes on the collective musical output prize for the fans benefit. "Angels’ Necropolis" is mandatory for those who yearn for something moving in the psychedelic, old school rock/ metal category.