Goathemy - Torn
Violent Journey Records
Blackened Dark Metal
10 songs (50.15)
Release year: 2008
Goathemy, Violent Journey Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Or perhaps you could go with darkened black metal? Some doom-influences here and there? Folky melodies used as well. I’m not really sure what definitions to use here. Goathemy is a band with a history seemingly going back over ten years in the Finnish underground. Torn is their second album and like I brought up, it is a veritable melting pot of very different styles.

The album opening instrumental The Wanderer is a folk-infused, mellow number that feels very much like some random Moonsorrow-studio outtake. The melodies are very nice and the tune is a very nice atmospheric piece. Once it ends and Tribe begins, the direction takes a much more heavy turn into something that slightly feels like early day Amorphis going mid-tempo. Male vocalist, or more aptly speaker, Hannu Ruohoniemi uses a hoarse rasp that makes his vocal work sound like Abbath of Immortal, except more flegmatic. Not that exhilarating to be honest. Female counterpart Teija Ruohoniemi has a much better technical grasp on her voice. Her style beckons to the direction of Battlelore and company – Not operatic, mainly a gentle soprano.

The first heavier tunes reveal the biggest flaw on this record: the production. While I am quite the hi-fi-wanker, I can very well accept shoddier production if it suits the music. In this case, I don’t feel it does. The layers of keyboards and slower chord progressions could use more muscle behind them but as it is the power isn’t in the sound. The drums are a bit buried in the mix and I can barely hear enough bass.

The ambitious mixing of different genres is also somewhat hampered by hookless and stiff songwriting. Many riffs and parts feel just out there, not leaving a trace between the ears once it’s gone. Good moments rise up here and there (for example, the intro melodies in Vicious Woman, the rocking groove in Liars To The Cross, the somewhat effective epic melodies in Origin Of Storm) but the whole package feels shoddy and incomplete. There are good ideas aplenty, but it feels that either the skills or the resources (or both, who knows?) didn’t come through on this one. If technical prowess, both playing-wise and sonically, isn’t that big of a deal for you, you can easily add ten points to my current score. Otherwise, I seriously suggest trying before buying.

Killing Songs :
The Wanderer
Aleksie quoted 55 / 100
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