Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Black Metal History Month - Goatmoon : "Stella Polaris"

Opening with the title track, we have some very well recorded and executed black metal that is very thrash influenced, so it holds more groove than just blast beats making it rather obvious that this Finnish band is no strangers to Dissection records. There is a little more of a pagan metal folk swing to the gallop of the next song, but even though it is not as dark as prefer my black metal, it is refreshing they are not relying on momentum alone to numb you into submission. Folk metal melodies continue to frolic over their Northern Euro stomp. "Wolf Night" is a brisk jaunt at under two minutes, but gets the job done with an almost more punk energy that shows this album has yet another color to it.

They get back to more of an epic folk metal vibe with the instrumental "Sonderkommando Nord". It would work better as a full fledged song , but for what it is it works well enough.The keyboards on this album are well used adding another layer to more blasty songs like "Warrior". The vocals are higher pitched rasp that not as crazed or shrieked as some, but above a growl. The more melodic interludes in this song are interesting and I think well paced. They seem to be increasing their need for speed once when are rocketed into "Conqueror", by the time we get to this song I think it is not playing to the band's strengths and begins to feel like filler.

"Overlord" starts off at yet another dizzying tempo. I think if this was band I just expected that from it would not make me raise an eye as I would already be numbed out by them. Here I had my expectations raised on the first half of the album, so it feels more like they are dialing it in and just settling with blast beats when they can do more."P.A.I.L" is a more drastic change of pace with it's ballad like tone. Singing is not this guy's strength, but it works well enough as it begins to feel like a viking was just thawed out of a block of ice and trying to drunkenly sing a folk song to a Skid Row power ballad. Having grown up on a steady diet of hair metal I can appreciate this. This album is a lot of fun despite being caught in a mire of blast beats in the second half, I'll still give it a 8.5. Being released on Werewolf Records who are pumping out some pretty decent black metal these days.

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