Review: “Tevras” by Goatskullt

Goatskullt are a Second Wave of Black Metal outfit from Helsinki Finland who combine elements of Hardcore Punk fueled Speed Thrash and Folk in creating thematically dark tales of mortality, death and nothingness filtered through the traditions of Finnish Folklore. Beginning their career in the dark arts in 2018 with single “Godfeces” they have released a trio of EPs (“Refuse To Exist!“, “Kinahmia“, “Goatskullt Vs. Raptus Spiritualis“) since, all in their native tongue, each one a manic celebration of monotonous lo-fi madness…

…Not being Finnish speakers we’ve translated the song titles for the bands fourth EP “Tevras” to give you a flavour of what Goatskullt are about so you too can get something of the concept like watching a foreign film and reading the subtitles. This time out Goatskullt have unleashed an EP of two halves that showcases the multi faceted stylings that this band can bring to Black Metal by incorporating elements of other styles. They manage to maintain continuity by using the same guitar tone and tuning throughout, but if you heard a couple of these cuts in isolation, you might struggle to pin them down as the same band if it wasn’t for the distinctive accenting of the vocals. “Lihan Uni” (or “Meat Sleep“) opens up the six track affair with a Hardcore Punk riff that bursts into a traditional Black Metal one when it’s joined by furiously ferocious blast beats and some deplorable rantings that set the funeral pyre alight. “Löyhkä” (or “Stench“) follows in a similar vein, breakneck speed and high octane adrenaline being the order of the day as the band cross into the dark waters of Extreme Metal. That frantic two song start  is however all too quickly thrown aside as the band slow things down dramatically by bringing “Ruho” (or “Carcass”) to the table, a slower industrial tinged cut with oppressive tendencies that builds sinister atmosphere with a slick style. It has an almost ethereal quality in the chanted chorus that purists may struggle with but Goatskullt aren’t the kind of animal to attract that kind of fan. Not that there is anything wrong with the cut, just that the stylistic leap is vast and if you’re not familiar with the band will catch you off guard. Swapping the programming for synths “Tyhjyydestä” (or “From Emptiness“) has an almost Gothic, Doom Metal style while maintaining a mid tempo pacing, giving it a soul searching vibe and benefits from dramatic vocal moments. Finding the middle ground with their tempo shifts “Syntyjäinen Koston” (or “Congenital Revenge“) brings back the rumblings of the kit with an almighty performance, the icy keys adding a couple of spine tingling moments of haunting melody to a cut that embraces the darkness of the void. Those middle three cuts are a testament to what this band can do creatively before things then go full circle with a return to the Hardcore Punk meets Blackened Speed Thrash of the opening duo of tracks with “Mustan Manan Lähde” (or “Source of Black Manan“). The issue with this EP isn’t the quality of the material but the ordering of the tracks, if it had been split into an opening raging trio with some kind of eerie haunting instrumental before the three slower tempo cuts then it would have a better flow and give it a little more edge [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Lihan Uni
  2. Löyhkä
  3. Ruho
  4. Tyhjyydestä
  5. Syntyjäinen Koston
  6. Mustan Manan Lähde

Tevras” by Goatskullt is out 10th September 2021 with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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