Goat The Head – ‘Doppelgängers’, Aftermath Music; 2010

Four years have passed since Norwegian death metallers Goat The Head had first unleashed their self-described brand of “cave metal” out onto the world, yet with this second full-length effort it seems to be that there are a few musical issues which could use a bit more work. Interestingly in the case of a death metal band, these appear to lie with frontman Per Spjøtvold’s vocals; than with the actual sound.

Despite their apparent leanings as a comedy-influenced band as the prehistoric theme suggests, it must be said that Goat The Head do seem to display strong musicianship together: ‘Uncanny Valley Clan‘, ‘Salt’ and ‘Stirring the Enigmatic Appetite‘ are good examples of this; as the thunderous, monolithic drumming and solid guitar riffage are strong enough to stand out on these particular tracks. In turn, one could presume that it’s with this part of the music nailed down that the group seem to have chosen to explore where else they could go with the rest of their atmosphere. On what seems to be a live track on the album albeit placed around the beginning rather than the end; third song ‘This Tube Is the Gospel‘ features not only clean, female R’n’B-esque vocals but an attempt on Spjøtvold’s part to play around with his own sound. Albeit they feel like a relatively decent effort here, it looks to be this very decision to experiment which brings on the down points throughout much of the album.

Namely; this is when it sounds as if he is actually rapping along in his gravelly, full-throated vocals – at one point appearing to imitate the funk pattern of Anthony Kiedis. Although this could be for comedic effect, since the thought of a bestial caveman rapping is enough to get more than a few chuckles out of anyone; the end result is that it doesn’t work. True, there is clearly no rule against performing at a fast pace if you’re a harsh vocalist. Yet in this case, it looks to be that Goat The Head have unintentionally brought us a reminder of how not to go about it; even if you just want to dick around with your friends in the studio.


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