Goat of Mendes is another pagan metal band hailing from Germany. They were formed back in 1994 and they have released four full-length albums so far, with long breaks between them. They have labeled their music as Wiccan metal, due to their beliefs and thematology. In the beginning of 2011 they return, after 6 years of silence, with their fifth work entitled “Consort of the Dying God”, a self-released album.
Actually there are 2 periods in bands history. The first is from the beginning up to 1998, where the band released its first two albums in a more raw yet melodic black metal style, combined with atmospheric narrations and poems. The second period is between 2002 and 2005 with the releases of “Thricefold” and “A Book of Shadows”, where Goat of Mendes revealed a more folk metal sound. After listening to this new work, I think it belongs in a new “era” of the band, since it doesn’t remind me their previous works. Maybe it’s because they have improved their production and they sound much more solid.
“Consort of the Dying God” is a very diverse album. It’s not easy to put it under the “label” of a genre, since the songs are quite different. There are 20 tracks in the album, with a total duration more than 68 minutes. Only 10 of them are actual songs though, since the others are intros with narrations in a very cinematic style. The guitars are really dominant, with riffs that move from heavy metal to death/black metal style. They have a more rhythmic role, leaving the melodic parts to acoustic instruments and in some songs to amazing violins! Even if all songs are in mid-tempo speed, without many significant changes in the guitar “philosophy”, they sound very different. This happens thanks to the orchestrations of the other instruments, that change the mood and character of the songs. So there are some more straightforward epic heavy metal songs, others with a folk approach, others with a more melancholic pagan mood and others that sound darker and more atmospheric. My favorite songs are “In Sarah’s Tents” with Maia’s enchanting clean female vocals and “The Dying God” with its amazing melodic violin passages. Surtur’s vocals are not very extreme; His typical black/death metal growls are combined with choirs, clean female and male vocals, adding even more to the richness of the compositions. This is the first concept album of the band and their lyrics (all in English) deal with ancient Gypsy mythology, paganism and the dark ages of Christianity.
Goat of Mendes come-back with a very “chubby” album that fans of pagan metal can surely check. It’s their most mainstream and well produced album and it comes with a very detailed 24-page booklet with all the lyrics and explanations of the concept. It is a self released album, so the best way to get it is to contact directly the band through their Facebook and myspace pages, where you can also listen to some samples of “Consort of the Dying God”.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos