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Sabbatogoatometal - 71%

TheStormIRide, December 10th, 2017

Apparently on some type of hiatus since 2014, Sabbatic Goat was a black/death metal band from one of the most impressive scenes in the niche genre, New Zealand. The band's short run only brought ten tracks across two demos and a split (two of which were just short intro tracks). Their second demo, Imprecations of Black Chaos, was released through Vault of Dried Bones in 2014, and showcases four of those tracks (a short intro, two proper tracks, and a Black Witchery cover).

Though the band clearly takes a goof bit of influence from the front runners in the barbaric black/death scene, like Black Witchery and Blasphemy, their relation to their home scene is unshakable. The production is raw and abrasive, with a strong focus on thick, primordial riffing. It almost sounds like a rawer Diocletian at times, though perhaps slightly more varied across the short demo. The majority of the demo rips and tears with blistering riffs and thundering blasts and scraping growls, though a few moments of drudging, monolithic crawling move in. The band finishes off with a solid rendition of Black Witchery's “Into Damnation Eternal”, though it really shows the difference between Black Witchery's furious, whipping trem riffing and Sabbatic Goat's pummeling, full bodied, Neanderthal approach.

While bestial black/death has been done to death, and has recently seen band's gaining new ground in a rather stale scene (hello Vassafor), Sabbatic Goat show that a primal, riff-driven approach still works wonders. That being said, there's not a lot going on here that hasn't been done before. Crushing and pummeling black/death with a strong appreciation for the savage bands of New Zealand, Imprecations of Black Chaos will briefly (very briefly) quench that desire for bestial barbarism, but, to be honest, it probably won't leave a lasting impression.