|Goathemy - Frostland
25 January 2006
01. New Era Of Disgust
02. Cursing The Venomous Waters
03. My Demons
04. Sweet Purgatory
05. Rebellion Morningstar
07. Opus Funerale
08. Hands Of Immorality
09. Cold Sky Promise
Goathemy have to be one of the most pleasant surprises of 2006 simply because their debut, "Frostland", has become one of my favorite 2006 releases so far and I'm really happy to have had the chance to receive their album in order to review it, otherwise I don't think I would have had the chance of meeting this fabulous band in time.
Finland has given birth to many fabulous bands and Goathemy hail from the land of the thousand lakes in the most appropriate way, opening their musical path with a wonderful debut album, something that many bands are craving for. While listening to Goathemy they give me the impression that they are trying to offer a personal sound and they succeed. The lack of personality is something common and we're used to it up to an extent, but it's always something pleasant to find a band that is willing to set its foundations the way its members want to, trying not to follow something already formed before. Some influences can be heard here and there, some very slight Summoning references at some passages and some more vivid Ancient-oriented ideas from their "Cainian Chronicle" era. Apart from that Goathemy adorn their soundscapes with their own ideas and folk-oriented music scales that make their overall feeling more affected.
The riffing has a dynamic and raw sound, keeping this razorblade sound black metal has, yet having a heavier edge at times with the inspired guitar solos escalating the compositions in the most appropriate way. The acoustic passages have a gentle approach and evoke a more tranquil and folk-oriented feeling in the air, yet, I shouldn't forget to mention some more oriental guitar passages like on "Cursing The Venomous Waters". The rhythm section interprets its role in the most appropriate way, lending groove and an imposing touch to the compositions in an unerring way. As for the vocals they range from extreme and ecstatic howling or just reciting male vocals to chanting or singing ethereal and atmosphere-evoking female evocations. Both vocalists sound fabulous and whenever they interpret together they form a wonderful and expressive duet.
Before ending this review I would like to make a special reference to the atmosphere of the band, their overall atmosphere is epic and imposing, melancholic and esoteric at times or more folk-oriented at others bringing forth memories of olden times. They express this aesthetic in a wonderful and really pleasing to the ear way, the important is the way they manage to evoke this atmosphere. Well, it is just the guitars and the female vocals that manage to adorn Goathemy's compositions with such a stunning and trance-like feeling and apparently they have proven that they don't need keyboards to create their atmosphere, they have everything they need and they use it in the most ideal way. Some extra instruments that were used are the tin pipe and the march drum and only on the ending composition of "Frstland", "Cold Sky Promise".
The album is incredible, creating visions of the cold night sky that rises above a forgotten in time "Frostland", and some songs that will make you lose yourself in the stare of the sky have to be "Cold Sky Promise", one of the best compositions for 2006 for me, in which the female vocalist, Dark, pours herself totally in an enchanting way, "Cursing The Venomous Waters" with its oriental aesthetic, "Opus Funerale" with its nocturnal beauty, the raging and atmospheric "Rebellion Morningstar" etc.
"Frostland" is a wonderful album of pagan/folk black metal, don't miss it!
Written on 17.03.2006 by
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."