Released: 2017, Aural Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Let’s cut right to the important part here: this record is fucking outstanding, and you should go and listen to it.
If you need an explanation (a ‘review’, if you will), it’s this: King Goat are a doom metal group from Brighton, in the UK. Describing them as such immediately creates certain mental impressions of the genre, and while these certainly aren’t untrue, there’s much more to these guys than simple Candlemass-worship or the like. While King Goat’s Conduit clearly harks to the classics, it very much does its own thing too. It owes to greats like Candlemass and Black Sabbath but doesn’t simply try to imitate them.
Instead, they take this kind of music in a decidedly more progressive and very rewarding direction. It’s nothing overly flashy or technical, but they have this wonderful skill of taking a basic sound and really running with it. Listen throughout the songs on here, all of which crack the six minute mark with ease, and you’ll often hear the same core melody throughout the song, just shifting and changing subtly. Most of them don’t jump around or change tempo very often, but they genuinely progress and develop, giving every song a great sense of wholeness. These guys can do so much with a relatively small number of building blocks.
Anthony Trimming has a great voice too, he puts me in mind a little of doomier Matt Barlow in his range and with how well he conveys real emotional power. Whether his delivery is soft and eerie, raspy and vicious or big and bold, it always works so well.
Everything has this sense of epic majesty from start to finish, but never tries too hard for it. “Revenants” builds beautifully to a soaring yet melancholic crescendo, all the while keeping to its gloomy atmosphere. “Sanguine Path” and “Feral King” take a more forceful tone, not quite straying into death-doom territory but perhaps flirting with it. “Conduit”, a seven and a half minute song that rarely changes pace, yet never once gets dull, and includes my favourite part of the entire album, a gorgeous climax towards the end:
"For aeons I linger,
Maybe a fleeting moment
Something is building,
Wonder and resentment
Deeper and deeper,
I owe existence nothing
Mocking my fury,
Creation takes root"
Few bands can do this kind of thing well. For me, King Goat are up there with Neurosis and Primordial in their ability to craft songs with tangible textures that take the listener on such a journey. Like them, it’s all delivered with such sincerity and conviction that you can’t help but get sucked in to these mournful tales.
The only thing approaching a real weaker point here is the three bonus tracks in this version. They’re actually the three songs from the band’s self-titled EP from a few years earlier. They’re not bad songs by any stretch, but they’re noticeably weaker than the newer material. “Final Decline” in particular is honestly pretty boring over 12+ minutes, I can’t say it needs to be that long. These extras represent a band still working to master their craft.
At the end of the day, this is what doom metal is all about, creating so much depth and atmosphere for you to sink into. If quality doom metal which learns from the classics without simply imitating them sounds like your kind of thing, you owe it to yourself to give this album a spin. I’m pretty confident saying you won’t regret it.