Review: “Kinahmia” EP by Goatskullt

“Kinahmia” is an ancient Finnish term, meaning the knowledge of the portal between different levels of existence; and this is a perfect definition for this release, a portal descending from furious riff-driven neon temples towards the more atmospheric temples of the old. It’s also the title of the second offering from Goatskullt, a three piece Black Metal band from Finland, the follow up to their 2018 debut “Refuse to Exist!”.

The synth laiden industrial tinged “Cosmic Wolves” opens “Kinahmia” with an 80’s synth pop vibe that could belong to a Killing Joke or Depeche Mode that will catch you off guard with a double take as to what you’re listening to. It is at the start at least the menacing soundtrack to an late 70’s or early 80’s science fiction horror film with a cold industrial beat thudding in the background. Swinging in the complete opposite direction the blast beat soaked Black Metal of “Dancing Towards Supremacy” name checks the opening track in its lyrics in perhaps the only thing that joins the songs together. The Motorhead inspired riffs dive into that Black Metal classic style with a phenomenal piece of ferocious drumming that makes every other sticksman look simply lazy. Vocally clean enough understand every word without being the clean of the opening track there is a certain amount of Rock n’ Roll in Goatskullt’s Black Metal offering. Contining that vibe in “Serpent Symmetry” which adds an eerie atmospheric with circling repeated short riff patterns at breakneck speed to give the sense that the beast is approaching. The storytelling within the lyrics is good fun with it’s evil tale and the musicianship is second to none.

Switching from English to their native Finnish for “Puhdistautuminen” or “Ablution” leaves something to be admired. There is not need for the band to be bound to any language as the music and lyrics fit perfectly either way so they can pick what suits them. Musically it’s a Black Metal riff fest that includes some eerie off kilter lead work at the back end with some chanted verse that acts as a refreshing break before the next tunes kicks in. That tune is 43 second instrumental “Sorru Unohdus”, a bleak dark atmospheric riff that sounds off against the occasional beat of a drum. It sets off the visuals of a cold winters morning over the hills of green Finland that could serve as a live intro tape in the future. It serves as a fine introduction to “Pyha Maa” or “Holy Land”, another song in the bands mother tongue. It lifts up from a brief introductory riff with a big drum sound giving the impression of an army marching across the lands but at a much faster marching pace. The synths return to add an extra depth of sound while the clean vocals have something of the Sabaton about them. It’s the second step up for a verse of blast beats and brutal banshee whaling blood spitting vocals that wins it giving the tune an almighty bite before the closing melodic riff [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Cosmic Wolves
  2. Dancing Towards Supremacy
  3. Serpent Symmetry
  4. Puhdistautuminen
  5. Sorru Unohdus (Instrumental)
  6. Pyha Maa

“Kinahmia” by Goatskullt is out now and available over at bandcamp

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