Take some old school rock like Wolfmother and The Sword, add some lyrics about black magic, rituals and exorcism, add a pinch of influences from some obscure seventies bands as Coven and you have something that sounds just like Year of the Goat. This band puts a great effort into creating the best atmosphere that you would expect with bands of this genre. They are not just flirting with Satan, they are definitely worshiping him and take this extremely seriously. That is why you can compare Year of The Goat with bands as The Devil’s Blood. In 2012 this Swedish sextet released their latest album “Angels Necropolis”, a concept album about a fallen angel.
It is definitely buzzing in the Little Devil on this late evening of the 16th of august. After the crowd had sampled some beers, “Year of the Goat” begin their performance. They are the only band on the bill this evening but nevertheless it is still crowded. When they start to play we immediately got pulled into the atmosphere this band wants to portray. The music is not very original, but the audience is familiar with the genre and know exactly what to do. Firstly, I question myself why they have 3 guitarists? You can hear some layers in the music, but that is more noticeable on album than in the live environment. Therefore, because this is a live review, the 3rd guitarist does not really add anything to the dynamic for me.
Thankfully, my little quibble doesn’t affect the atmosphere in the Little Devil at all! From the front to the back people are headbanging to gloomy melodies and singing along with the anti-christian lyrics. The guitars feature minimal effects and give the music an air of melancholy. The vocals are cloaked in echo effects which enhance the old-school feel of Year of the Goat. At times the vocalist’s style makes me think of Muse’s Matt Bellamy, which I found a bit annoying and whiney. In a welcome contrast, when not whining, the vocals are sung with a rugged edge and even a venomous bile.
Altogether I had a great time, singing along with catchy songs as “This will be mine”. Year of the Goat showed that you can fill a venue without support acts. They are definitely straddling the lines between being soft and heavy. These Swedes made an definite impression on the crowd and it will take a long time to get such a personal and up close show again with any band. YOTG really understand how to use the right atmosphere in the right place. They may miss a little originality, but they are slowly turning heads towards them.
Year Of The Goat is :
Thomas Eriksson – vocals, guitar
Fredrik Hellerstrom – drums
Per Brodesson – guitar
Tobias Resch – bass
Don Palmroos – guitar
Pope – keys and percussion
Photo’s: Susanne Maathuis