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Goatskullt - Kinahmia

by Gary Hernandez at 12 August 2019, 1:22 PM

GOATSKULLT is a three-piece Black Metal band out of Helsinki, Finland. On June 19, 2019, just two days before summer solstice, GOATSKULLT released the EP “Kinahmia,” their first significant release since their 2018 debut, “Refuse to Exist!” “Kinahmia” is not your typical sampling of lo-fi, tremolo-laden Black Metal. While it certainly has its moments of atmospheric despondency and thrash-infused angst, GOATSKULLT introduces some intriguing anomalies amongst this six-track EP.

One of the surprising things about this EP is the number of twists they manage with just six tracks. The first twist is the opening track, “Cosmic Wolves.”  When I heard this track I thought my editors found a retro Industrial Prog album to test my resolve. That isn’t to say “Cosmic Wolves” is bad — quite the opposite. But it is unexpected.

The very next track, “Dancing Towards Supremacy,” is a blazing track with an infectious riff that will erase any fear that GOATSKULLT has strayed too far from their dark roots. The onslaught continues with “Serpent Symmetry,” an amalgamation of furious rounds of blast beats offset with dissonant, savage chordage. “Puhdistautuminen” (translation: ablution) sees Zaisswar Sielusurma shift into his native Finnish. Much like the previous two tracks, “Puhdistautuminen” is a simmering cauldron of well-crafted Black Metal.

The second twist comes with “Surru Unohdus” (trans: break the oblivion), a forty-three second acoustic number. While it may not literally break oblivion, it certainly breaks the pace of the album—and, again, this isn’t a bad thing. Unexpected, yes; bad, no. And then twist three: Just as the listener is left wondering what just happened, “Pyhä Maa” (trans: holy land) picks up where the previous track leaves off—and an acoustic opening. The opening is short lived, ending in cosmic blast riffage coupled with some deeply traditional Finnish vocals. Enter twist number four. While the first two-thirds of “Pyhä Maa” sound like it could have come off a Folk Metal album, the last third is pure devastating Black Metal, reassuring the listener they have not left the circle of soul-crushing metal. And then sixteen seconds from the end, the onslaught ceases and the acoustic intro becomes the acoustic outré, and twist number five closes the EP.

Final word. “Kinahmia” is an album that bears repeating. GOATSKULLT takes us on a twisty but intense blast through their Black Metal vision. It’s a good vision — dark and intense. We all know where Black Metal has been; I think GOATSKULLT is a good bet on where it might be heading.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Cosmic Wolves
2. Dancing Towards Supremacy
3. Serpent Symmetry
4. Puhdistautuminen
5. Sorru Unohdus
6. Pyhä Maa
Iūcundus - Bass, guitars
Jon B. Barbatoz - Drums, keyboards, programming
Zaisswar Sielusurma - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 07 December 2022

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