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THIRTEEN GOATS: ‘Servants Of The Outer Dark

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Words by Michael Naidos

Themes from the occult possibly attracted guardian demons when this Canadian genre-hopping extreme metal band recorded their debut. Vocalist/guitarist GRAHAM K. MILES speaks about “weird shit” happening during recording such as the constant flickering of studio lights and the noticeable drop in temperature. “I’m not superstitious, but it felt spooky – like I wasn’t alone in there. And when I listened to the final tracks, they sounded a lot more evil than they had while I was doing them…maybe I had a little help from beyond?”

The snarl of the beast is strong with THIRTEEN GOATS on album opener Servant of the Outer Dark. The multi faced skill of vocals from rapid tongue verses to melodic chorus was on full display. The drop bass, thumping drum beats and slick guitars are welcoming in their ferocity and effectiveness.

The politically charged Road to Ruin comes in hot and innovative, and catchy riffs fly thick and fast. This track was accompanied by a video staking vengeance of Vladamir Putin, shooting from the hip of the band’s Eastern European roots and stoked by their anti-imperalist sensibilities. A master-class of controlled chaos is one way to describe the track’s catchy chorus, bouncing rhythm and swarming guitars.

Prisoner’s Anthem brings a punk influence. Choppy yet concise guitars thrash along with a pummelling of kick drums, as the vocals bring a theatrical energy that it wouldn’t be out of place in Les Miserables.

Sub-Being is one of the hardest tracks on the album, bringing a tight and aggressive sound reminiscent of thrash from the late 80s/90s such as CANNIBAL CORPSE and CARCASS.

The newest single Unholy Mass impressively follows the SLAYER playbook in theme and style. Darkly atmospheric, perfectly structured, well paced and catchy as hell. Miles reminisces on writing with guitarist /vocalist ROB FITZGERALD. “He came up with almost all the riffs, and I wrote the lyrics, which tell the story of a priest determined to cleanse the world of sinners through gruesome murders. It’s about the hypocrsy of peaope who preach peace and love but enforce their values through violence, he says, “I also managed to sneak a CRYPTOPSY reference into the chorus – see if you can pick it out.

Servants of the Outer Dark ends with a couple of humorous tracks in Vacuum-Induced Head Explosion and Through the Meat Grinder…the Recipe. Dark and twisted yet a great time moshing along to, not to mention singing along to songs about heads popping like grapes.

Thirteen Goats make seriously good music and sound like they have a lot of fun doing it. They write great upbeat thrash songs with strong melodies that appropriately sway from sinister to camp and pull it off temendously. For some classic charcuterie of extreme metal mixed with a bit of tongue in cheek, you’re well looked after here.

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