Year Of The Goat – Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis
Playing “occult” heavy rock, Norrköping’s Year Of The Goat is one of the Swedish 70’s retro bands that struggles to stand out in a crowded genre. While the artwork, titles and lyrics may flirt with the occult, the actual music is often fairly straight forward and has more in common with bands like Horisont and Graveyard rather than Coven, The Devil’s Blood or Jess & The Ancient Ones. At least this was my view before hearing “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis”, their third full lenght album, following 2012’s full lenght debut “Angels’ Necropolis”, “The Unspeakable” (2015) and a couple of EP’s.
While the vocals still leaves me a bit indifferent, the music is actually quite good. For the most part. The album gets off to a good start with “Subortus” but this is sadly followed by two similar but lesser tracks before the slow and bluesy “Ira” makes things more interesting again. “Superbia” is up next and this up-tempo track offers some superb garage rock energy, making the band sound like The Hellacopters on acid!
“Gula” is more of a filler but it’s still a catchy pop song that wouldn’t have sounded too out of place on that latest Ghost record. It even has a bit of a Muse quality to it, I’d say. Luckily, the band has saved some of their best work for the final part of the album. The first single release, “Avaritia”, is truly a killer song! You better run, better run now, while you think you can! Great chorus and guitar solo on this one. Very catchy!
“Invidia” is more of a throwaway rocker. While I appreciate the Blue Öyster Cult and Thin Lizzy vibes, this kind of thing with Wishbone Ash-ish twin guitar solos is something I find their country men Dead Lord does better. “Subicio”, finally, is 14 minutes of pure and heavy proggish “occult” brilliance. This one makes me think of Judas Priest at their 70’s peak and epic classics such as “Beyond the Realms of Death”. This final track also features the finest vocal performance of the entire album.
Clocking in at 56 minutes, “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis” somewhat outstays it’s welcome, in my opinion, but it’s still well worth hearing for tracks like “Subortus”, “Ira”, “Superbia”, “Avaritia” and “Subicio”.
Artist: Year Of The Goat
Title: Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis
Label: Napalm Records
Date of release: 2019-09-06
Standout track: Avaritia