Thanks to the less than ideal atmospheric conditions of Seattle, Washington with more rain than what most normal people might consider normal, an indoor lifestyle and dour sense of life have lead to the creation of some immense music. The caprine fixated, Goat Sanctuary has come out as a band intent to shock and rock. They brought out their first EP in early June called ‘Cthonic’.
Goat Sanctuary consists of Zach Cook (guitar), Tim Mullen (drums), Brent Powell (bass), ad Simon Crawley (vocals). Guests guitars by Jim Fennel (Hail To The Goat) and Zachary Hoiland (Cthulhu). Boomdust produced the album and the legendary, Jack Encino (L7, Screaming Trees, and “Bleach” by Nirvana) mixed/mastered it.
Cthonic refers to anything belonging to or concerning the underworld, and the album cover does not hide the fact that they delve into this subject. With song titles like ‘Hail to the Goat’ and ‘Cthulu’, they are hell-bent on throwing their thrash-punk-death metal vibes out there sending God-fearing folk into hiding. H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional character Cthulu hovers over the blistering wasteland run by the demons of the underworld. While it is not a scene you may want to arrive at when you next book an AirBnB some of the demons in the scene are apparently content with the situation. Within life, everyone has their own niche and desires.
The music is frenzied and intense. A piranha feeding fest. The songs break out, attack, kill, then retreat in just over 2 and a half minutes at it’s longest. Bones are stripped clean.
Vocally we hear a range of growls and throat scraping yowls and the occasional scream. In “Hail to the goat” we have some clean vocals with a unique tone that comes through smooth enough but laced with demon dust. Most of the time the vocals are intent on attempting to tear up the air into jagged pieces.
The pace of the music is varied with the drums going at a punk speed most of the time with flared drums fills in between before slowing down allowing one to punch the air, stomp the ground and headbang using your entire torso.
“Cthulu” opens the scene with ferocious tremolos before heading into the body of the song. Within it, we have these interesting screeching notes being played instead of a solo which was different and refreshing.
“Hail to the Goat” seems to sum up the band with the whole spectrum of what they do. It’s probably the song that tries to stand out the most with its controversy. I tried to do some research as to why goats are evil but couldn’t find a singular point where they became inclined towards being involved with the dark side. Their eyes are particularly unsettling though and I wouldn’t attempt a staring match with them. Much like Venom did back in the day to shock people with their connection to Satanism there could be an element of this on this album. While the significance of this song title is more poignant to the artist and their followers to the general public there is a modicum of hilarity when shouting allegiance to a farm beast. It may also be an attempt at facetiousness.
“Shark teeth” opens with some crunching doom stoner rock the bass crashes in with the ferocity of a shark attack churning the airwaves into a bloodied foaming mess.
“Out of light” and “Drain the blood” continue the mix of styles that give them their style but follow a similar sort of pattern to the songs that blend them easily enough.
Goat sanctuary has brought out an album barely under 12 minutes made with for their collective love of metal and their interpretation of it. They are out to annihilate the airwaves and generate mayhem in the moshpit. With their focus on the dark side of demons and their apparent enthusiasm for the underworld, they provide an avenue for similar minded people to engage with or they are out to shock.
Goat Sanctuary: Facebook
Release Year: 2021
Reviewed by Byron Lotz