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Not what you'd expect... - 75%

BlackEnergy, May 4th, 2003

If you've ever heard Darkthrone, then you probably think that you know what to expect from a Darkthrone album. I'll say first and foremost that Goatlord--which was actually recorded immediately after Soulside Journey, before Darkthrone's transition to their more recognizable form first seen on A Blaze In The Northern Sky--defies any expectations.

Goatlord is a strange album, indeed. For starters, most of the vocals resemble spoken words (albeit in a black metal voice) rather than singing, usually following no rhythm or pattern and coming at seemingly random intervals during the music. However, the vocals are where this album really shines. Throughout the album many different voices and samples are used, including but not limited to clean vocals, tortured screams, Nocturno's patented black growls, and even vocal samples resembling a female voice. Now whether or not this female voice is actually a female or just a modulated male voice, I have no idea.

Really the only problem I have with the album are the instruments. For one thing, the vocals almost completely drown them out due to the production used. The drums are not really noticeable and the bass can not be discerned from the guitar. That being said, the guitar throughout the album is easily forgotten, only standing out on one or two songs, namely "In His Lovely Kingdom" and "Green Cave Float", which also happen to be the best two songs on the album.

So really, with a more appropriate production and a slight reworking of some of the guitar parts, the album would be a very memorable one. As it is, Goatlord is decent, but a bit mediocre. Highlights: "(The) Grimness Of Which Sheperds Mourn", "Sadomasochistic Rites", "In His Lovely Kingdom", and "Green Cave Float".