Year Of The Goat - The Key And The Gate

Year Of The Goat - The Key And The Gate

(EP, Napalm Records, 2014)

I was really excited for the new YEAR OF THE GOAT release and the reason for this is because I consider Norrköping, Sweden’s dark lords the best thing ever happened to the occult Retro Rock scene for the last decade. Yes, their debut EP “Lucem Ferre” was a mind-blowing introduction to the band’s magikal Sabbatic sound, and their first full length “Angels’ Necropolis” made it first on my 2012’s top 10, so I guess now you can understand why I was impatient. Anno 2014, YEAR OF THE GOAT treat us with one more EP release, entitled The Key And The Gate, with three brand new tracks, so let’s find out what their dark minds have created...

...and that is nothing less than pure occult Retro Rock that carries the sextet’s signature all over the place. The opening, self-titled track begins with a really catchy and up-tempo riff as Thomas’ vocals read “from darkness we came / to let our souls transcend”; a lyric line that I believe is very suitable to introduce YEAR OF THE GOAT’s music. Sure, the refrain sung in Italian is a bit strange choice for a Swedish band (and I really would like to learn why they did this), but it’s not difficult at all to understand the meaning, plus it adds a quite mystical layer to the track (and the EP’s whole atmosphere, of course). “Mystic Mountains” takes the groovy momentum of its predecessor and instantly transforms it to a nostalgic tune without confusing the listener who will sense that a really mystical story will start to unfold. The late 60s / early 70s Mellotron melodies are cleverly scattered here and there, completely changing the scenery, and as Thomas’ reading becomes more Bluesy and throat-y, you’ll feel that sweet warmth YEAR OF THE GOAT produce in order to lure you to their dark paths. The closing Non-Euclidean Calculus (love the title of this one) is an instrumental, ambient track that could easily characterized as a worthy representative of a new Surrealistic movement of Rock, revealing one more ace to the Swedes deck - and I’m talking about the dark Prog Rock character that reintroduces psychedelia and Krautrock right from the start, since the band has managed to make it look like its own.

So, what’s the verdict? YEAR OF THE GOAT have achieved to give flesh and bones to one more outstanding release, and since I’m used to rate all their efforts (no matter if they are full lengths or not), I’m gonna continue this informal tradition by giving to “The Key And The Gate” a well-worthy...





01. The Key And The Gate
02. Mystic Mountains
03. Non-Euclidean Calculus


Thomas Sabbathi - Vocals, Guitar
Marcus Lundberg - Guitar
Don Palmroos - Guitar
Fredrik Hellerström - Drums
Tobias Resch - Bass
Pope - Mellotron, Vocals