Good lord

Goatlord - Turbo/JLAmerica 1992
Rating = 2

Am I allowed to designate a serious recording outfit as an 'outsider artist'? If so, I'd like to do so today for Goatlord, the most audaciously incompetent thrash metal band I've ever heard in my life. Maybe they were secretly a bunch of brain rockets, but the Earth's sole remnant of their existence as a recording unit is one of the most headscratchingly SHITTY, INEPT and BORING albums one has ever heard. And by "one," I of course mean the Three Dog Night song that U2 covered, by Metallica.

Indeed, release number one (and last) by these brazen Las Vegas knuckleheads 'gambles with' (HA HAAAAAAAAAA! LAS VEGAS COMEDY! WHEEEE!!!) doomy, unmemorable heavy chord sequences and evil hoarse gruff spoken vocals splattered ineptly across a bunch of plodding THUB-a-THUB-a-THUB-a beats played on what sounds like a trash can lid, a metal pipe and a big piece of rubber tubing run through a flanger pedal. Usually this kind of thing equals 'instant pop stardom,' but on this rare occasion something has gone terribly wrong. Could it be the way the musicians perform at three conflicting speeds every time they switch to a fast part? Or the way the vocalist starts every single song with a hoarsely intuned "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!"? Or the fact that the hamfisted drum parts sound suspiciously like they were recorded after the guitarist and bassist had lain down their parts? No, it's all these things and more.

Unfortunately, as much as I love to recommend hearty outsider artists and Bad Albums, Goatlord's abject failure as a creative unit extends past the luxuries of 'curious' performance methods and 'unique' vision to soak in a musty stink bath of out-and-out 'dull, worthless' songwriting. Not that I don't love that 4-second loop of whistly wind noise that repeats over and over and over through all 7 minutes of "The Fog" because I do.

Despite such...umm... "intriguing" song titles as "Blood Monk" (?), "Distorted Birth" (!?), and "Obsessed Soldiers Of War" (!), only a single track on here successfully takes advantage of the band's innate talent for pointless repetition, bad drum parts, and riffs seemingly written by a bunch of drunk retarded children -- this track is the unforgettable "ACID ORGY." Plodding beats? Check! Track-opening "Uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhh!"? Czech! Lyrics about an acid orgy? Yep! But what really puts this one over the top is the sick, sludgy, deadening, molasses-oozing chord sequence, which seems to drag and sink endlessly slower and slooower and slooooower through a morass of impenetrable swampland clay, mud and mush, with skulls in it and a guy on acid having an orgy. Until BAMM! Hokey fast part! Then back to the sludge again. But for once, the excruciatingly slow, go-nowhere tempo WORKS! This song is actually evocative and weird and effective! The rest of the album should be ashamed of itself, but "Acid Orgy" is a killer!

Is there a term for the opposite of backbeat? Or rather, I think of 'backbeat' as "boop-CHICK! boop-CHICK! boop-CHICK! booboo-CHICK!" But Goatlord's drummer refuses to play a backbeat during ANY of the 'fast' parts on here! Instead, he accents the first and third beat of each measure, with this awful, messy THUB-a-THUB-a-THUB-a beat that makes you question whether he's ever actually heard a thrash metal band in his life. My guess? He's 8 years old.

Shit, that can't be right - that would mean he was born in 1998, but this album was recorded in '92! Could he have recorded his drum parts in a previous life? Oh, this is worth looking into. In fact, this is amazing and incredible.

Also, I just looked up the opposite of "backbeat" - it's "downbeat"! So keep those answers coming.

Just FYI, I've been out of town not writing for the past week and a half, so if nothing I've said here makes any sense, it's because I've forgotten what everything means. Have you seen all these fuckin' WORDS they expect you to remember? Fuck that, I'm sticking with just pointing at shit and going "AAAHH!"

Reader Comments

Wow, I canít believe Iím reading this. We used to laugh and laugh and cry and laugh again at this record in the early 90ís. It sounds like the drum fills were not only recorded after the fact but also recorded on a synth, or those ďHit SticksĒ that were really cool back in the day. I really do hope you have a photo of them to really appreciate the whole package. I have nothing against raw and retarded obscure metal when itís done right. You should definitely check out Beherit Ė Oath of the Black Blood which also came out on JL Turbo around the same time. Totally inept yet insanely awesome proto black metal. The singer sounds like a pit bull with a beard of bees and the rest of the band sound like they have never met, but somehow it works in its own evil and nihilistic way. But yeah, pass on the Goatlord no matter how cool you think the name is.

Thank you very much for sharing your opinions about this album. I was just about to Amazon it up; now I must for sure! Laughter is good.

MRARK PRINDAL!!!! I saw your interview with the goon on Fox News on Youtube! That goony host could've been anybody! Your ex-Southerner accent is still slightly detectable, eh? Eh?

Anyway, about Goatlord (which I keep wanting to spell "Goatloard," or better yet "Goatlard"), your description of them sounded so hilarious that I really wanted to hear it, so I found their "official site," which is actually just a Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/goatlordusa

I'm not trying to take away from your business, but it would probably be better if instead of paying an "extravagant amount for this terrible CD" on Amazon, they could just go to that Myspace to hear "Acid Orgy," which admittedly does have a good ugly chord sequence, but that pig-grunt-sounding bass, that just plain pig-sounding vocalist, and those weird kiddie electronic-sounding drum rolls--really, it sounds like a guy playing a toy synthesizer set on "drum kit" when he does thes rolls--aren't doing that band any favors. You can hear some more of their songs there too, which don't show the band as having learned any new tricks.

Also, you're incorrect about something. they do have another recording besides the "Goatlord" LP--their Wikipedia entry says they did another release in 2007. http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=4230 has a pic of Goatlord. I'm guessing the fat hairy guy in the middle making the Billy Idol sneer face at someone off-camera is the singer. It also gives their "lyrical themes" as being "Goats, sodomy, blasphemies." Yeeeah.

Next time you're on Fox News, be sure and ask that goofy host guy why he's so happy and if he's on something or not.

I can't believe people are still talking about Goatlord, Back in the day, late 80's I was big in tape trading thrash and death bands. And Goatlord just happened to be one I picked up. I had just moved to Florida when I got their demo in the mail. I would have to dig through my old stash to tell you which one, but it fefinetly had the song The Fog on it. My friends who were not into death metal at all. Would just laugh and laugh at this tape, but I played it all the time as I love the slow doomy stuff, since I had just come down from outside of Pittsburgh and had spent time seeing bands such as Dream Death, Post Mortem, Doom Watch. But one of the main reasons I liked listening to it was i had just started to learn to play guitar, was bad and only knew 2 string bar chords, and hearing Goatlord made me feel like, hey even I could do that. In the 90s when their album came out I bought it, I remeber the bad electronic sounding drums, but I never listen to it that much, here if Florida (Tampa) there was so much thrash/death metal going on it just got pushed aside. Anyway reading this I think I will dig into my old collection, see if I actually still have a cassette player that works and bring back some old memories.

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