GOATMOON – VARJOT (Werewolf Records)

This one is pretty disappointing. Having been blown away by the Finns’ stellar contributions to recent split releases in collaboration with Dead Reptile Shrine and Azazel, I was looking forward to their third full-length with a real sense of anticipation. This was one of my most-anticipated albums of 2011, so I suppose it had a lot to live up to, but it hasn’t produced the kind of magic I was expecting.

Maybe I set my sights too high, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t get Goatmoon as well as I thought I did. But for whatever reason, ‘Varjot’ falls way short of the mark. I’m sure many metal fans will love this and it could well be remembered as one of the cult releases of the calendar year but to my ears it’s way too melodic and simple and safe. It’s the kind of pagan Black Metal that might appeal to fans of bands like Nokturnal Mortum, with loads of keyboards and flutes and pleasant sound effects thrown into the mix – as well as sparse use of clean vocals. Black Metal for girls, in other words.

It’s a big, big let-down. Goatmoon should focus more on producing raw and grim BM and forget about the silly melodies. Pity. Aw, well.

Evilometer: 222/666