GOATCHRIST “Odes To The Radiant One”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The name GOATCHRIST conjures up images of beast-like black metal warriors festooned with spikes and face paint, spitting blood and burning crosses while blasting war metal or early BATHORY style evil thrash. Well, that’s not what you get here. This is a surprisingly progressive type of black metal that is devoted to Jewish mysticism. It’s the creation of one J. Guillherme and is so steeped in the Kabbalah and esoteric Jewish wisdom that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Mr. Guillherme was a Hasidic rabbi.

This is a very baroque style of black metal with many allusions to classical and liturgical music. There is speed and harshness to be found, but there’s also piano, horns and flute woven amidst the mayhem. Vocals are generally troll-like, but occasionally veer into clean, monk-like chants. The press sheet mentions that this is much more occult oriented than the usual Satanic shtick and that seems to be true, although naming your band GOATCHRIST conjures up a certain image.

I wound up preferring this by far over the latest DEATHSPELL OMEGA offering. It’s avant-garde, but not insanely so and metal is the backbone of the album. The lyrics seems to be truly esoteric and are as deeply immersed in the Kabbalah as anything I’ve ever encountered. Song titles include “The Emergence of Tiferet From That Qlipa Which Envelopes Binah” and “Proclamations of the Baal Shem Tov”. So if you were expecting something like “Love Gun”, look elsewhere.

A rather unique and interesting listening experience.