One of the most promising Black Metal bands in the world steps their game up with a unique concept and more of their thought-provoking music.
When the demo She Who Holds the Scrying Mirror by British Blackened Death Metal band Goatchrist was reviewed here at The Headbanging Moose last year, I said the band was surely going to leave their mark in the world of extreme music in the years to come so electrifying the album was. In less than one year, this Wakefield/Halifax-based group has substantially improved in terms of songwriting and quality of their music, leading up to their superb new EP entitled The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil and solidifying their place atop the list of most promising Black Metal bands in the world. And if you don’t believe me when I say they’re the future of Extreme Metal, please read this review and listen to their thunderous music, and you’ll promptly understand why.
To begin with, remember we’re talking about a 17-year old musician, Dominator Xul’Ahabra, who still has a long way to go in his life but who at the same time is already capable of crafting extremely complex and meaningful music at such a young stage of his career. For instance, he even plays some very unusual instruments in this EP such as the mellotron, the theremin, the glockenspiel and the ice bells. In addition to that, there’s an incredible concept behind the whole EP, increasing its depth and level of intricacy compared to the majority of all other recent metal releases. The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil is based upon a story from traditional Sumerian folklore: a brief outline of the story is that it follows a trio of sorcerers in ancient Sumer (where modern-day Iraq exists) who are summoned to the temple of the god Enlil, who informs them that his Tablet of Destinies (the relic that enables him to be universally recognized as the Supreme deity) has been stolen by the Anzû bird. You can read more details about this awesome concept HERE, but either way you have to admit this is not your regular subject matter from such a young musician, right?
However, it’s the music itself in The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil that trespasses all boundaries of darkness and the unknown, providing us headbangers a unique experience in extreme music. The eerie organ and background voices in Intoduction properly set the tone for the tempest that’s about to come in The Triumvirate’s Flight to Nippur, which is almost the same powerful and intense song from their 2014 demo, this time with Dominator’s dark vocals to make it even more diabolical and therefore a billion times better. A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds is top-notch Black Metal with hints of Middle-Eastern elements, especially in regards to the rhythm, also presenting solid guitar lines and an interesting theremin solo that end up taking the listener through an intense music journey.
The following song, Plaguewood, showcases more atmospheric passages and symphonic elements, without abandoning of course the obscurity of the blackest form of metal music through Dominator’s vocals and riffs. It’s so captivating it doesn’t feel like it goes over six minutes, and I assure you that your head won’t hurt with such brutal musicality either. Then we have the masterpiece The Great Battle at the Ruins of Ninurta’s Temple, a song that perfectly represents its name: a battle amidst ancient ruins to the sound of old school Black Metal with a strong harmonic vein. I’m sure Behemoth’s one and only Nergal would love such darkly engaging composition, just as you will.
In the excellent Enki (The Ascendance of the Three to the Immortal Seats), including: a) Anu and b) Eternal Revitalisation, Goatchrist get closer to the sonority of their 2014 demo, bitterly devilish and with its last part being a savage denouement to the story told in The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil. Actually, after all that devastation there’s still an outro entitled Epilogue, where the church organ is back to close this incredible concept EP in the most climatic way possible.
As aforementioned, Goatchrist have truly stepped their game up in The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil. What an amazing and original concept put forth by Dominator and his crew enhanced by their unique extreme music, and honestly I can’t see another EP (as well as lots of full-length albums) being better than this one in 2015. Moreover, the next release by Dominator and his horde is already in the planning stage, with a shift in history to traditional 17th century French occultism and Luciferianism, which makes me eager already for more of their dark music. Anyway, The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil is available through the band’s official BandCamp page and through SixSixSix Music’s Big Cartel page, and if I were you I would grab a copy of it without thinking twice. Goatchrist are not only the future of Extreme Metal, but with releases like The Epic Tragedy Of The Cult Of Enlil they’re proving they’re also the present.
Best moments of the album: The Triumvirate’s Flight to Nippur and The Great Battle at the Ruins of Ninurta’s Temple. As a matter of fact, the whole EP is amazing.
Worst moments of the album: None, of course.
Released in 2015 SixSixSix Music
1. Introduction 2:50
2. The Triumvirate’s Flight to Nippur 5:18
3. A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds 2:40
4. Plaguewood 6:27
5. The Great Battle at the Ruins of Ninurta’s Temple 4:05
6. Enki (The Ascendance of the Three to the Immortal Seats), including: a) Anu and b) Eternal Revitalisation 5:10
7. Epilogue 1:57
Dominator Xul’Ahabra – vocals, electric lead guitar, electric rhythm guitar, electric bass guitar, drums, percussion (including glockenspiel and ice bells), a variety of keyboards, church organ, mellotron, theremin, lyrical sorceries
Conqueror Va’sh – electric rhythm guitar
Blood-Count Aamon Vetis – electric bass guitar, backing vocals