Text: Lucas Rebreyend
Another band that will drive you crazy. The transient Afro-beat Swedish band have struck again with their mystical chants and vengeful guitars on this new collection that you wouldn’t disparage one evening by the fireplace, in the twilight of a red moon, and with your feet carried away in a frenzied trance. Trance, a term that seems to guide the very spirit of this band, and perhaps sometimes to excess.
Even if the identity of its members, who are constantly dressed in ceremonial outfits on stage, remains unknown to the public, Goat has a melodic signature that is very recognisable to the ears of anyone who has ever tasted the beverage… because let’s face it, this is a band of witches. The two female voices, often in unison, chant, yell, vociferate. Around them, the instrumentation is nervous, warm. The tribal rhythmic evokes the wake opened by Nigerian legend Fela Kuti and his celebration of percussion, as well as the free-jazz deviations that we find here and there (“Do the Dance” and “Apegoat” with its hallucinated saxophones). The guitar is the other side of the mountain; it is sharp, deliberately under-produced, drawing its inspiration from Bedouin rock.
Starting off on a high note with some very impressive tracks -special mention to “Chukua Pesa” and its swarm of acoustic guitars-, the album loses some spontaneity towards the halfway point where we become worried about a formula that repeats itself with less surprise. Even if the characteristic voodoo energy hovers over the whole album, one regrets at times the bravery of Commune (2014) where each track hit the bull’s eye and sounded like a little hit. Far from being uninteresting, Oh Death is content, if not a masterpiece, to be the Scandinavian sorcerers’ comeback, 6 years after Requiem, and just for that, we grab the steaming cup, and swallow the charm without batting an eyelid. With our heads in the clouds, the final instrumental “Passes Like Clouds” envelops us with its offbeat keyboard, as if lost at the end of a desert track that taunts the ocean.
Goat is one of those bands that have found their unique style, perfecting it over the course of albums, always in pursuit of the ultimate recipe. In doing so, you know when you’re hearing Goat, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that they’ll always sound like this. Go for it, it’s too good to pass up.