Year of the Goat – The Key and the Gate (2014), The Unspeakable (2015)


Year of the GoatThe Key and the Gate (Napalm Records, 28 November 2014)



Year of the GoatThe Unspeakable (Napalm Records, 31 July 2015)


The year of the goat has ended: this past February, the year of the monkey was ushered in.  But the previous twelve lunar months had been dominated by this horned beast — the third such year since the one in which I was born — and around this time period, Sweden’s Year of the Goat had been fairly active.  Exactly twelve weeks before the commencement of the (Chinese) new year, their second EP The Key and the Gate saw the light of day via Napalm Records, who then went on to release Year of the Goat‘s second full-length album The Unspeakable once the year of the goat was actually in full-swing — in fact, right in the middle of the month of the goat.

And I’ll stop there, because that pretty much exhausts the extent of my research into Chinese astrology in preparation for writing about this band from Norrköping and their latest two releases — the latter and longer of which found its way onto my list of the best of 2015


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High Fighter – The Goat Ritual (2014), Scars & Crosses (2016); Zirakzigil – World Builder (2016)

EP Cover Artwork + by Dominic Sohor Design

High FighterThe Goat Ritual (self-released, 28 October 2014)


High Fighter 'Scars & Crosses'      Album Front Cover_ By Dominic Sohor

High FighterScars & Crosses (Svart Records, 10 June 2016)



ZirakzigilWorld Builder (Prosthetic Records, 10 June 2016)


Hey folks, how are you? Thanks for stopping by. Are you ready for another dose of good stuff to listen to? I hope so, because once again I’ve got some here to share with you today.

Both of the bands we’ll be discussing today will have an album released on Friday: High Fighter from Hamburg, Germany, will see their first full-length put out by Svart Records, which we’ll talk about in addition to that band’s debut EP that was self-released a while back; Zirakzigil from Portland, Oregon, also have their first LP forthcoming, one which was originally released by the band last year but is now being repackaged (and etched onto vinyl for the first time) by Prosthetic Records.


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New Cynic Song has Me Feeling Very Cynical.


So it’s not often I see the interwebs so abuzz over an upcoming release, especially one that doesn’t have the words “Devin” or “Townsend” in the name, as they have been lately for the new EP Carbon-Based Anatomy, by Cynic (due 11/11/11 on Season of Mist).

I just got done listening to the advance sample, the title track — which was made available for free download (here) earlier this week — and I haven’t quit yawning yet.  I can’t believe how bent-out-of-shape folks have been about Opeth‘s latest being too un-metal or whatever (stay tuned for a separate post on that whole situation, coming soon), and yet people are somehow all frothing at the mouth for this?

Now, I’m fully aware that I’m too old and out-of-touch to really understand most current musical fads, but here is a band that has been around (off and on) for the past twenty-four years, and reportedly is now considered some sort of “progressive death metal fusion” hybrid (according to the Encyclopaedia Metallum).  I don’t really know what this song was, but I feel like I’ve been robbed of the past six-and-a-half minutes of my life.  I haven’t heard this much ‘pretty boy’ singing, synthy electronic ambience, and particularly, such an absence of anything metallic, since the last couple Muse albums.  I’m pretty sure my wife would adore this, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it (just ask LeVar Burton), so feel free to give it a spin using the link up above, and if by some chance this really floats your boat, you can pre-order the CD here, or pre-order the digital download here.