Ván Records always been one of my favorite record labels. They've released countless masterpieces throughout the years (The Ruins of Beverast, Kermania, Graupel come to mind immediately). Known mostly as being a black metal and doom metal label, they've proven themselves to know what quality is.
Year of the Goat is a band I am unfamiliar with thus far. It sounds completely different from anything I had yet to expect from Ván Records. However, despite my immediate confusion that something like this would come from this label, I am very pleasantly surprised. This music is incredible, and is giving the perspective that Van Records not only knows quality music in certain subgenres of music only, but in others as well.
The music can be best described as modern rock and roll with a somewhat bluesy/backwoods twist, picking up where the 70s occult rock boom left off. With a somber and melancholic atmosphere, yet variations in pace and beat, we are treated with a very full album. It is an up-front and bold album, melodic and moody in nature, but thankfully not weepy or boring. Excellently-placed guitar solos, strange effects and backup chorus vocals all fill what could otherwise be gaps in the sound, and the end result is a very full-sounding band.
One thing that fascinates me about music like this is how unsettling it can be in the most subtle ways. Black metal, for instance, can be as Satanic as possible and evil sounding as possible, yet that essence in and of itself will make it unsurprising. You expect it from twisted music like such.
However, with music like this, the melodic nature and clear vocals just make the lyrical content that much more sinister. If someone's screaming and it sounds dark, of course you would expect it to sound dark.
With this music, it's almost like your mother and father are matter-of-factly telling you that you were actually born in a witch coven.
Highly recommended for those who want something familiar, yet different.