Year Of The Goat – “The Key And The Gate” EP (Napalm Records)
Satan never sounded this sweet! Mixing suave late 60s psychedelic and early 70s occult rock, these Swedes impressed me a few years back with their awesome debut ‘Year Of The Goat’. Since then they’ve released an award winning sophomore and are now onto this 3 song EP, but none of their magical flair, classy melodies and deep, soul driving grooves has been lost! Opening with the rocking title track the triple deck guitar attack is hard to resist – rich in texture as well as providing sound body in the rhythm to allow plenty of melodic licks, breaks and solos to flow amidst plenty of trippy harmony vocals. What has always impressed me so much with Year Of The Goat is that they don’t sound – or look – evil or even try to, yet their music is no less powerfully evoking on the soul. No more is this so on the lengthier material like the amazing ‘Mystic Mountains’ which allows the 7 1/2 minute cumulative effect of those guitars complimented by Thomas Sabbathi’s preacher man vocals and Pope’s Mellotron organ to possess you utterly in its mesmerizing bliss – if this was indeed evil then its embrace couldn’t be any warmer! Closing off is ‘Non-Euclidean Calculus‘, an ambient instrumental that gradually evolves into a dark 70s prog rock finale a la Tangerine Dream which shows the band’s versatility as well as their boldness to include it on an EP. Still, I think it works a treat in providing the perfect sedative to the rest of this intense EP. Thoroughly impressive as before, I’d recommend Year Of The Goat in a heartbeat to anyone – and this beautiful EP is the perfect starter for the job.