King Goat – Debt of Aeons (Review)

King GoatThis is the second album from King Goat, a progressive doom metal band from the UK.

I’ve been extremely excited for this one. This is a band that takes everything I love about traditional doom metal and combines it with a progressive metal element that sees the songs soar above almost all of their so-called peers with ease.

I’m late to the King Goat party, really. I initially heard their Atom EP when it came out in 2013, but although I enjoyed it, it didn’t stick in my memory very much. It was only when they were recently announced as openers for Paradise Lost that I had cause to revisit them. Oh my! Their 2014 self-titled EP and their wonderful 2016 debut album Conduit are both stunning pieces of work. I’ve since binged on them, and have completely fallen in love with the band.

Which brings us, finally, to Debt of Aeons. Chillingly emotive and darkly creative, this is music that seeps with negativity and bleak despondency. However, it never becomes maudlin or mawkish; Debt of Aeons strikes the right balance, resulting in songs that have a powerful presence and are deeply affecting.

The songs are marvellously written, with substantive riffs, mournful, yet graceful, melodies, and plenty of epic atmosphere. The progressive touches that infect the songs propel the band’s doom metal base to higher and higher heights. In some ways this reminds me of a cross between Pallbearer and Anathema, with certain elements that remind me of some of Primordial‘s work, and there’s even a touch of The Ocean here and there. In many ways, however, these are very superficial comparisons and don’t come close to telling the whole tale of the songs on this superlative album.

The band’s singer is on fine form. In fact, that’s totally underselling him; his performance is stunning and so well-delivered it’s insane. Striking a formidable balance between heartfelt emotion and a commanding, powerful presence, his voice is so versatile and impressive that this is easily one of the best vocal performances I’ve heard in some time.

I cannot really do this album justice with mere words. I honestly cannot fully express how amazing Debt of Aeons is. It’s currently at the top of my short list of contenders for album of the year, and I can’t possibly imagine at the moment what could topple it.

An utterly essential listen.

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