Album: Blood and Wine
Label: Svart Records
Genre: Doom, Stoner Metal
Release Date: September 27th, 2019
I’ve been noticing recently that I have been listening to a lot of chaotic and or bleak music. Like, a lot. Far too much. Who knows if that has any correlation to any one thing in particular. Or even a multitude of interrelated things. Or maybe it is just happenstance. Like, when you decided one night to watch a romantic comedy because, I mean, why not? And so you do, and then Netflix suggests more similar movies and you think, “sure, I can watch another. That last one wasn’t terrible.” And then before you know it, you’ve spent the past 2 weeks watching every Ben Stiller movie and you can’t tell if this has anything to do with your romantic life or if it is completely unrelated.
Well, Blood and Wine is not a romantic comedy. Nor is it noisy, chaotic, or dense. No, Blood and Wine was a nice change of pace. Goatess has been pumping out fuzz-laden doom since their debut in 2013. With their most recent release, they continue down the path most-traveled both in the scene and in their prior records. At its core, Blood and Wine is a doom record in the most fundamental way you can imagine. All of the usual lyrical tropes are pulled out: goats, sacrifice, blackened suns, and the vague allusions to a secret cultish sect/order hoping to bring in the apocalypse. It’s all very normal and, dare I say it, comforting.
The opening track, “Goddess”, begins with the force you would expect from any doom band worth their gruff: a single, distorted chord that fills up all the empty space in the room, just left to hang there for a little while before the rest of the band chimes in. The slow march of thick guitar, thicker bass, and the metronomic ride of cymbals carries us through the rest of the song. The title of the track, and the lyrics, present us with where we expect the band are deriving their name: the song is about sacrificing a goat to a Goddess, perhaps a goat Goddess or Goatess if you will. It seems curious that they would wait 6 years to reveal that to us all.
The rest of the album trudges forward in much of the same way. Never really exploring anything new, beginning really heavy, quieting down in the second act, then picking back up to howl about old gods and the apocalypse just a few more times. Throw in a sitar-sounding series of guitar solos in between some really righteous riffs, and you have yourself a solid album to bob your head to.
Ultimately, Blood and Wine will not surprise you. Just like the apocolyptic death-cult wandering throughout the story of the record, we all know what will keep coming next. And I want to be very clear here: this is by no means a negative. This record is really great. Its riffs are heavy, its vibe is spooky, it’s everything you wanted. Sure, it’s not going to make you think, but for crying out loud, aren’t you doing enough of that already? Just sit back, partake in whatever your preferred vice is, and be swallowed up into the riff-filled smoke that is Goatess.
- Dead City
- What Lies Beneath
- Black Iron Mask
- Dark Days
- Jupiter Rising
- Blood and Wine
Total Playing Time: 65:21