Vancouver’s Thirteen Goats serve up a platter of death metal with “Return to Ruin” single

Thirteen Goats
Photo Credit: Caitlin Delaplace

Vancouver’s Thirteen Goats are inspired by classic American death metal acts like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, and they have their feast of a debut album ready for discerning metalheads the world over. “Servants of the Outer Dark” is a sonic trip that winds down the most twisted sections of extreme metal’s memory lane on a journey to wicked new horizons. The band weaves together conventions from numerous extreme metal subgenres on songs that range from topical to tongue-in-cheek—some are overtly political, while others are about things like cooking and eating your enemies. The first single off the album is “Return to Ruin“, which vocalist/guitarist Graham K. Miles explains in detail:

“Return to Ruin came from a place of deep anger with a number of institutions and systems that I feel are failing the current generation—predominantly governments and large corporations that are waging war, both literally and economically, against everyday people around the world. From the widespread mismanagement of a global pandemic to increasing wealth inequality, an ongoing environmental crisis, a rising tide of political extremism, and now a new Cold War with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we are living in the midst of extremely dark times—and the people who are supposed to shepherd us through them seem to be leading us to the slaughterhouse instead of towards greener pastures.

“All of the current live band members have roots in Eastern Europe—we have one Ukrainian (me), two Russians, and an Armenian. But all of us are against the war and against people who use power unjustly. This song is intended to be a call to arms—a protest anthem that invites listeners to question authority figures and the systems they’ve set up, and to burn those systems down if they’re not working so we can start over with something better. Like we say in the lyrics: “Sacrifice the ones you’re serving; ask yourself what they’re preserving.”

Heavy, hooky, theatrical, and over-the-top, Thirteen Goats takes the standard death metal recipe and turns it on its head without sacrificing raw power. They liberally add flavours from a wide range of other metal subgenres including tech death, melodeath, brutal death metal, groove metal, thrash metal, black metal, and even grindcore, resulting in a well-blended and tasty layered sound that is approachable for any metalhead.



Thirteen Goats - Servants of the Outer Dark