Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Review: Goatskullt – Tevras

Label: Self released

Date: September 10th, 2021

What happened to “necro”, “Satan”, “blood”, “horns”…? Well, I guess you cannot shove all the “black metal words” into one band’s moniker. At least not without sounding like a regular satire on the genre. Still, good job on combining the three you did! I actually quite like the name.

On to presenting the band a bit further. Goatskullt is a relatively young Finnish black metal entity. Spawned in 2017 in Helsinki, the band has already a few short releases under its belt. And one full length album. “Tevras” is the new EP, due to be released in about a month. No more details were provided, regarding labels and such, but that’s beside the point.

What is important, when it comes to Goatskullt, is the music. Upon mentioning Finland and its black metal scene, one can automatically assume this duo (at least according to the band photo provided) went for one of three possibilities. The pure second wave along the lines of Horna, the atmospheric, folklore-ish, epic way of Moonsorrow, or the berserker styled, punk black metal of Impaled Nazarene.

Actually, there was a fourth possibility, but with a name such as Goatskullt there was no way they were going to go for the oompa loompa Finntroll black metal. Of course, they didn’t.

But what they did is mix all of the three mentioned above. In just over twenty minutes of this EP. This basically means that you will get your dose of polar freeze, monumental sights of untrodden mountains and bone-chilling lakes, as well as your personal sex-crazed ghoulish stalker looking to feast off your flesh, one way or another.

Naturally, Goatskullt has had more than enough time to study the matter at hand, considering all they had to do was run around the neighborhood a few times. With all the lessons learned, the band offers extremely driving and compelling music. Okay, the patterns they use are as old as black metal itself, but the fresh energy outlet is felt throughout. The songs do just as they must. Highly energized, powerfully, yet filthy enough, produced, they simply sound enraged.

Apart of the two in the middle. “Ruho” and “Tyhjyydestä” are the examples of the epic, monumental black metal I mentioned before. By the way, Goatskullt reminded me to look for another Finnish band, Ruho. I’ve lost contact with the guy running it a while back. But I digress. These two songs really are something one could look for in Moonsorrow. Especially the later era of the famous Finns. Laden on the background of slow to mid-tempo, second wave black metal are the folklore melodies and atmosphere of those mountain megaliths of the north. Enhanced with some acoustics, clean vocals and hardly audible keyboards, the two are breathers of the record.

And here I come to the only issue with this EP I managed to find. These two tracks almost sound as if performed by another band. They seem detached from the rest of material here. Now, that doesn’t have to be a problem, especially since these are quite good songs, but it does make me wonder. Clearly the fusing of this unholy trinity of genres is not entirely completed.

Still, if you go ahead and count the good songs on “Tevras”, Goatskullt managed to pack up six of them. Six out of six, to be precise. Perhaps this EP is not yet enough to propel Goatskullt into the big leagues, but it is definitely enough to have you remember their name. And not just because it is a cool name.