Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Review: Golgotha – Remembering the Past – Writing the Future

Label: Xtreem Music

Date: March 2nd, 2021

Looking through the history of Golgotha, I’ve found a number of contradictions. Though the band might have a pioneering status on the Spanish doom metal scene, a bit of a recap should be done. Just for the sake of these discrepancies. They sure made me wonder.

First of all, how can a band go silent for over a decade after releasing an album called “New Life”? Seems illogical. An EP titled “Arise” and an album “Erasing the Past” that came after the reformation could be construed as expected steps towards a new beginning. But then we get to this release that contradicts the previously stated. Now we should remember the past instead of erasing it. Really?

My past is fairly confused about what to do.

However, my present should pay much more attention to the EP at hand. But wait. What’s that? I’ve got a CD with five tracks, but my stereo reports the existence of eight tracks. Three hidden tracks? One does not come across something like that too often.

As it turns out, the one new track on this release is the opener, “Don’t Waste Your Life”. The following four tracks are newly recorded versions of songs spanning across the entire Golgotha discography. That is a nice gift for a lazy reviewer. Especially one that is not overly enthusiastic about doom metal. Furthermore, these songs show that too much investigation into the previous works by these Spaniards is not necessary in order to correctly judge their creative force. I would even go so far as to claim that they haven’t moved too far away from their roots.

Now, I’m not a lazy reviewer and I did not trust the 21st century bag of tricks to provide me with an answer to what Golgotha sounded like back in the day. So, what I can say is that these four songs have been enhanced to an extent. And not just by the production work. Somehow, the band made them fit much better to the new track. It’s not that they had too much to upgrade, since the root of their music is ever-present.

Basically, doom metal is the name of the game. With obvious death metal touches, naturally. Overall, we have all been served a dose of melancholic music that, luckily, does not stray into romantic weeping. Quite the contrary, Golgotha keeps the strength throughout, making for a powerful record whichever way you turn. Guitars and vocal variations dominate, which should be expected from the genre. Still, there is a rhythmical diversity present here that is not such a frequent guest on such releases. And these do not only concern the pace of the tracks. It is the actual inventive effort behind the drums and bass that provide for an interesting listen. With all of these elements outlined by keyboards that are not quite ever-present, we have everything needed for a doom metal record.

Still, do we have a record that will bring the fans together in praise of Golgotha? Not being a particularly big fan of the genre, I cannot claim for sure. Fact is that I like this EP. I’m not quite in love of it, as I find it lacking some gripping moments that will make me return to it. But people who are always on the lookout for more such releases might find it fairly satisfying.

Oh, and not to forget the mentioned hidden tracks. Yet again, Golgotha is remembering the past with orchestral versions of their own tracks. Whether these versions are writing the future is unknown to me. I doubt it, but it could make for an intriguing possibility.