Released: 2003, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Blackgoat hails from Bainbridge Island, Washington – and swears heavily into the name of ´old school´ Death Metal. What I mean by ´old school´ exactly is listening to this threesome´s debut CD that was self-released back in 2001, you simply cannot avoid comparing them to such bands as Celtic Frost (MORBID TALES –era mainly) and Unleashed (WHERE NO LIFE DWELLS –era) - added with some twists from Motörhead here and there in their very familiar sound. Robert Day, the band guitarist and vocalist, sounds strongly like Johnny Hedlund´s (yes, that Unleashed –fame!) long-lost twin brother in case you are in need of comparisons...
In fact, everything sounds familiar in them and maybe that´s why it´s rather easy to like them and basically enjoy a filthy and relatively primitive sound of Death Metallic nostalgia on Blackgoat´s debut 8-track offering. The whole disc simply rocks hard like a fistful of hot coals in your leather pants. Songs like “War Again” and “Apocalyptic Invocation” don´t leave anyone´s pants cold – not even Lemmy Kilmister´s or Thomas Gabriel Warrior´s.
On BY UNSEEN FORCES, Blackgoat´s follow-up album in 2003, the band had become a 2-piece band, containing only Robert and Curran in the recording line-up. However, this unholy duo has managed to bring their old school Death Metal message a few steps further from their self-titled debut, toward a more old school Death Metal style that is closer to bands like, let´s say Possessed and old Death - and also closer to the ´80s Doom Metal ála Winter. It´s kind of like ´Possessed-meets-Death-meets-Winter´ -an unholy union that reigns through the songs on BY UNSEEN FORCES, one song after another getting an equal treatment in the Blackgoat -camp in the name of old school Death Metal!! The title track “By Unseen Forces”, and a song called “Under” are total Death –worshipping from start to finish whereas “Stone of Triumph” reminds me of a bastard child of both Possessed and Celtic Frost regarding its musical aspects.
It´s even quite interesting how Robert has managed to obtain a vocal style similar to “Evil” Chuck of Death and Jeff Becerra from Possessed. At times he succeeds to fool and confuse an inexperienced listener so much that they may mistakenly think Blackgoat could have been a side project of either Chuck from Death or Jeff from Possessed. They didn´t fool me though even if they could have done that relatively easily even.
Being an old school Thrash/Death Metal fan, I gotta say that I found a lot of sheer potentiality from this doomy Death Metal band named Blackgoat. What can I do more than suggest you to keep their name in your mind from now on... ;=)