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Thirteen Goats - Servants of the Outer Dark Award winner

Thirteen Goats
Servants of the Outer Dark
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 24 August 2022, 3:37 PM

There are albums that bring to Metal fans some unexpected surprises, and they’re worthy of being heard and praised. Obviously, fans that are addicted on clone bands sometimes refuses to recognize the value of those who are always experiencing with their music, due the fact as many are still living in the past. But for those that loves a surprise, the work of the Canadian trio THIRTEEN GOATS presented on their first album, “Servants of the Outer Dark”, is a full banquet in the better place in the tables of Hell.

Their musical work is based on a technical approach into Death/Thrash/Black Metal, but the melodic elements inherited from hard Rock and traditional Heavy Metal are clear to anyone to hear. It’s complex, amazing, with songs presenting layers and layers of musical elements. But it’s not hard to understand, absorb and become addicted on the band’s musical work. It’s, aggressive, nasty, but full of melodic parts (even using clean vocals contrasting grunts and shrieks, as can be heard on “Servant of the Outer Dark”). It’s a total new form of dealing with an ancient Metal genre, so be prepared to this hide, because every curve holds a tasteful surprise. The album was produced by Graham K. Miles (that’s a classically-trained Shakespearean actor with a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the New School for Drama (formerly the Actor’s Studio Drama School)), Rob Fitzgerald and Mike Redston, or in other words, the band itself, and with mixing and mastering being done by the hands of Diego Fernandez-Trujillo. They created a form of sonority that is harsh and dry, boosting the extreme side of their music, but keeping things defined for the sake of the understanding.

The songs don’t have lengths above five minutes, what make things easier to hear. And be prepared for a darkened and surprising journey guided by Virgil through the album. “Servant of the Outer Dark” is plenty of good melodies and modern arrangements, but always dealing with the band main extreme outfit (pay attention to the technical work of bass guitar and drums and to the contrasts between the vocals). On “Challenge the Executioner”, it’s not a sin to say that it’s an experience similar to hearing an extreme Metal version of MERCYFUL FATE on its darker moments due the technical approach (especially because the guitars are playing great riffs and hooking arrangements). Pushing things into a more Thrash/Death Metal trend, “Return to Ruin” is a massive onslaught of hooking energy and weight, based again on the rhythmic contrasts, and “Prisoner’s Anthem” keeps in the same tendency (even with a more melodic approach on the guitars).

Again some modern Metal elements arise on “Sub-Being” harmonies and melodies, but mixed with hooking Thrash Metal elements (the vocals are tormenting the ears, in the good sense of the words), and on “Unholy Mass” (but this one brings some Death/Thrash Metal technical elements similar to SLAYER on some moments). Evoking the Thrash/Black Metal features of the past in an updated form, “Constant Torment” is a black mass rite, a torment for those who seeks to live in the past, because it’s full of life and energetic hooks created by bass guitar and guitars. Again mixing elements of the past and present, they storm with fury on “Vacuum-Induced Head Explosion” (the bass parts are in a way that Alex Webster would like to hear), a massacre made music with very good vocals and great drumming, and “Through the Meat Grinder… the Recipe” follows the same trend, but with surprising and unexpected contrasts.

In the end of all, one can say that “Servants of the Outer Dark” is really a surprising release, and as an eclectic Death/Black/Thrash Metal release, it will show that THIRTEEN GOATS is a new strength into the extreme scene.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Servant of the Outer Dark
2. Challenge the Executioner
3. Return to Ruin
4. Prisoner's Anthem
5. Sub-Being
6. Unholy Mass
7. Constant Torment
8. Vacuum-Induced Head Explosion
9. Through the Meat Grinder… the Recipe
Lineup:
Graham K. Miles - Vocals, Guitars
Rob Fitzgerald - Guitars, Vocals
Mike Redston - Bass, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Record Label: Independent
     


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