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Goath - III: Shaped by the Unlight - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 2nd, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, Digital, Ván Records (Bandcamp)

Ván Records are known for putting out quality release after quality release so whenever I have a look what is new from their side there is another interesting new album. This time I stumbled upon “III: Shaped by the Unlight”, which is (obviously) the third full length by the German band Goath. While labelled as black/death here at MA I would argue that the death metal attributes clearly dominate, although there are enough influences from the black metal pool as well as a few doomish parts and some thrashy patterns to keep things interesting. No matter to which sub-genre you are going to add Goath: The most important factor is of course the music, and let me tell you that this is a nasty chunk of dark and hefty music. The three gentlemen have channeled all their anger and released it like a disruptive tsunami and leave nothing than ashes on the battlefield.

The album kicks off with a cinematic clip setting the tone of the entire journey before the first riff rises out of the dust and the listener is thrown into the mouth of madness with the first full track “Symbiosis Of Vengeance And Guilt”. The blast beats and tremolo picked action continues in the second track, with a verse-chorus section has a nice and memorable hook. The number of high velocity riffs and chugs that run rampant through each of the tracks is insane, and while some songs might grip you more than others the overall quality is outstanding. One of my personal favorites has to be the title track, which stuck with me from the first listen and offers nice diversion with some groovier kind of mid-tempo parts.

Most of the songs here follow a pretty similar blue print, and while there are enough tempo and rhythm changes most of the time Goath stay within full throttle mode. So everyone who is looking for a straight forward piece of ultra-precise and uncompromising destruction will get exactly that. With a playing time of around 40 minutes and enough variation thrown into to the mix there is no chance to become bored before the second spin starts. Some songs offer a slight change of pace, bringing a stompier, more groove-focused style to play, while others bring the ferocity and intensity to the forefront, going to slay without mercy.

For the most part, this album is a riff driven affair that has a bit more of a thrashing edge to it than the unfettered chaos of blast beats and blurry tremolo guitar lines that paints other typical death metal releases of the modern times. The band make very good use of dark melodies, seemingly teasing them into existence out of the grim haze of the guitars with loving attention to detail. These sit alongside some well-composed riffs and blackened grooves and harmonies, forming the bulk of the songs with great passion and care. The technical abilities of the band members is impressive, but they never drift away into technical wankery and stay focused to present some tightly written and stringent songs.

The production is perfect, punchy and organic – probably one of the best I have heard in quite a while. The drums pack an immense punch and the guitars sound crunchy and heavy with the soaring lead harmonies getting enough room to work their magic despite the heavy hitting riffs. The bass can be recognized as well and while the sound is pretty polished there is a certain level of grit left in the mix. “III: Shaped by the Unlight” also comes with a fitting cover artwork, perfectly reflecting the dark and uncompromising music it contains. This album comes with a high recommendation for each fan of crushing and expertly executed extreme metal, so do not sleep on this one!