King Goat - ConduitKing Goat hails from the mid-sized English city Brighton, the embodied karmic inverse of the Great Storm of 1703. Conduit, the band’s debut album, is a self-released album that they call “progressive doom metal.” The record consists of 5 long songs, is 42 minutes long and marks the band’s first release since two EPs from 2013. Most readers here are aware that I am not an epic consumer of doom metal, but Conduit spoke to me immediately. This band of Britons have crafted an album which successfully blends dark atmosphere, soaring vocals, ponderous builds, and an epic feel that compels a listener forward.

“The Flight of the Deviants” kicks Conduit off with a long intro and a bass-driven riff courtesy of the Blue Öyster Cult (+ Satan). Just when I’d written “Ghostcore” in the genre field on our promo sheet, however, vocalist Anthony “Trim” Trimming hit the chorus. Immediately differentiating King Goat‘s sound, Trim’s upper range and vocal tone is like a baritone version of Messiah Marcolin. I promptly wrote “Candlemasscore” in the genre field instead, and claimed the album to review. While King Goat obviously has differentiated themselves mightily from the Swedish kings of doom metal, the comparison is apt. Trim is a dominant force on Conduit, delivering a vocal performance that is dynamic and impressive. His approach is varied; growling, whispering, and raspy cleans define the different tracks. But while “Feral King” would stand alone because of a groovy intro, it wouldn’t be as good without the power of Trim’s performance. “Revenants” delivers awesome riffs, but it’s the deft touch with which Trim delivers the melodies—reminiscent of A Perfect Circle—that makes it stand out. Like so many of the best vocal performances, the melodies on Conduit are catchy, but never linear. Add in throat singing (whut!?) and Trim’s dexterous navigation of the band’s dynamic songwriting, and his performance is a vocal tour de force.

It helps a singer to have a lot to work with, however. While the music on Conduit isn’t “progressive” in my opinion, it is expansive. The songs are epic. This does not mean that they are just long. Rather, the songs are woven from a tapestry of inspirations to be epic and dynamic. Like waves, “Sanguine Path” rises and falls heavily; white space between phrases like the calm before a storm. While songs can sometimes feel a bit over-leveraged—”Flight of the Deviants” maybe pushes a bit long, for example—King Goat is deft at avoiding the lulls that plague too many doom bands. Rather than songs which are long for the sake of being long, Conduit feels expressively coherent and artistically fresh. There’s a lot of Candlemass here, but there’s Primordial, too, and like Oceans of Slumber there’s something that reminds me of the best extreme metal from the ’90s. This peaks on the title track “Conduit,” which is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. The guitars lay the bed for a brilliant, occidental melody before giving way to one of the album’s heaviest moments. But the track peaks on the practically neo-classical choral section that proceeds the outro.

King Goat 2016

Conduit has a slightly muddy quality that fits the music perfectly. The sound is bass heavy, too, with bassist Reza G. and drummer Jon Wingrove getting a lot of audio real estate. Reza’s sound is some of my favorite kind of bass tone, reminding me of Mendez’s sound from Blackwater Park, while Wingrove’s drums sound trashy and live. The guitar work from Petros Sklias and Joe Parson is minimalist, but fitting. The guitars on Conduit are reminiscent of black metal bands that use the wall of sound—like Primordial or Rotting Christ—rather than power chords. This differentiates slow, and sometimes simplistic, guitar work in its fullness and lush textures. The pair use unique chord constructions and Petros even drops well-placed solos.

Conduit is a slow burner that I liked from the start, but I have grown to love it. The blend of good ideas and great performances makes for an album that is surprisingly addictive. The record flows, and even when songs strain a little bit at the edges of “too long,” it’s forgivable, because the whole is greater than the parts. King Goat may hearken back to the operatic drama of Candlemass, but Conduit is an idiosyncratic take on that sound and a conduit to another world.


Rating: Great!
DR: 6 | Media Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Unsigned
Websites: kinggoat.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/kinggoatbri
Released Worldwide: March 25th, 2016

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  • William Hebblewhite

    DR 6, NotLikeThis

    • Yeah, it would sound better if less compressed. But it’s not terrible.

    • Everything’s a DR6 man. This is a DR6 featuring great music.

      • MastersApprentice

        After ordering the Vinyl after reading it had a separate master (on bandcamp) the band were kind enough to send me a digital version of the vinyl master.

        Unfortunately it only clocks in at DR7. However, I will say that extra dB of head-room does make a difference. The drums and bass are more defined and there is a lot less clipping overall. The title track “Conduit” sounds much clearer as a result during it’s more intense sections.

        I realise this comment is late but I thought it was worth mentioning so people don’t expect miracles ordering the vinyl.

    • Siege Bantayan

      4Head

      …sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    It’s not Ghostcore, it’s Scooby Doom.

    • brutal_sushi

      * inserts Orsen Wells “Citizen Kane” clapping GIF

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Now THAT is a unicorning if ever I’d seen one.

    • Bart the Repairman

      The Power of Subtlety.

    • [not a Dr]

      Understated, yet effective. It suggests, rather than demonstrates. Very classy…

    • Agree with thee, and the two commenters above/below. (Together we shall form The Three Commenteers.) I didn’t even notice the cunningly arranged horn.

    • Blueberry Balls

      LOVE IT!

  • Looking forward to seeing these chaps on Friday. The album is very good – not sure I’d put it in the “Great!” category, but perhaps it will grow on me with further listens.

    • It really, really grew on me. Liked it at first, thought it sounded good. Then I just kept coming back to it. It’s actually distracting me from other things..

      • Westpaceagle

        Album of the month contender? Also, Ghostcore is really fun to say. Ghostcore.

        • Though dangerously close to “Ghostscore” which I think is a shitty Nightwish song.

          • Westpaceagle

            AMG, do you have a funny (or angry) answer to f*ck with non-metal heads when they ask what kind of music you like?
            Mine would be “Ambient Ghostcore” or maybe “Ghost-Grind” but I am pretty sure that’s not a thing (or is it??) Now if only someone would just ask me!

          • Ghostgrind. That’s good. My answer is usually “Eh, I don’t really want to talk about it.” Because it’s kind of an awkward conversation.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            “Metal? I don’t like it when they do the screaming thing”

            Compelling argument/10

          • Name’s Dalton

            Or: “Metal? Me too. I’m really into Five Finger Death Punch.”

            [shudder]

          • Berit Dogg

            “Anything with enough wanking”. (Avoiding the difficult concept of over-wanking altogether. People are easily confused.)

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    That Conduit is a damn cool track

    • The following track is also epically good. Love these guys.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      A lot of nifty things going on. The ending part reminds me a bit of Melechesh.

  • Vocalist has an Iron Maiden thing going on…

    Also this is at least the third album cover featuring a computer generated dude sitting or kneeling this month. Is this the new sphere?

    • [not a Dr]

      Not leaving anything to chance, spheres were sprinkled around and even stuffed inside the CGDude.

    • madhare

      I get that too from the cleans.. To me that’s more Bailey than Dickinson, though.

  • Dethjesta

    I’m really diggin’ this. Gonna have to check more of it out – Thanks AMG.

    That vocalist really does have all the tools.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I can’t believe this is the FIRST band named King Goat. Holy shit.

  • Innit Bartender

    Goat was 2015’s sphere, these guys are late to the party… Nah, just kidding, hope to have time to check this out, busy like hell…

  • Berit Dogg

    Listened to the embedded track too many times and went off on a doom binge. This is seriously good.

  • AnnieK13

    Really liking the embedded track..had to pre-order this one on BC.

  • DOOM?

    on a scale of doom to doom. How doom is this doom?

  • madhare

    I’ve had a boring year in metal so far. The releases just haven’t been my style. But now finally! This is the first one that really tickles little dangling things somewhere in my lower abdomen. Thanks!

  • junkyhead

    The intro riffage really caught my attention but the vocals, of course, while aren’t bad and seems to please most of you here, threw me off a little, but still, good band!

  • Norfair Legend

    This is excellent, will be buying tomorrow for sure.

  • Scott Tyson

    This is great, really like it. I get a Rob Lowe vibe from Trim, maybe cause I’ve been binging on Solitude Aeturnus lately.

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    Sounds like it’s time to break out the Messiah Stomp! (Mr Marcolin’s official lope of doom).

    Great sounding track and excitement inducing review – straight to wishlist.

    Cheers!

  • RDGEEK

    Not bad. Still digesting. I wish the breakout riff at 6:00 of “Conduit” had been in 7 though. Really felt like it was going to be, but no.

  • Fuzzybunny

    Liking this!, Thanks for putting me onto it AMG!

  • Requiem

    This is the EXACT kind of epic I live for in metal. Now I’m asking myself why I put off checking this out for half a year…

    • GardensTale

      You’re out of excuses now anyway since AMG crowned it AotY (and so did I, but I don’t really matter, akin to a house elf)

      • Nathan McCain

        This album is way too good, why did I not check this out when it won RotM??

  • Ben Avery

    The vocals remind me more of Johan Langquist (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) than Messiah Marcolin. But that’s fine by me, he was a more emotive singer.