Sunday 1 October 2023

OLD GOAT SMOKE - Demo (EP Review)

Release Date: September 26th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

OLD GOAT SMOKE - Tracklisting

1.Old Goat Smoke 05:31

2.Return to Dirt 06:19

3.The Great Hate 08:37


OLD GOAT SMOKE is a Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal band from Australia comprising of seasoned musicians from the Sydney underground scene. Their debut release DEMO is a raw-sounding and unflinching style of filthy down-tuned grooves that feels inspired by bands such as Church Of Misery, BONGZILLA, WEEDEATER and Electric Wizard. OLD GOAT SMOKE have a slight pissed off and nihilistic quality within their music that shines mostly through their vicious vocals and sludgy growls. However, the music is packed full of intricate grooves and a sublime seedy Psychedelic tone.

The three tracks on offer showcase OLD GOAT SMOKE playing to their strengths with a deeply atmospheric blend of WEEDIAN down-tuned power on the excellent opening track of Old Goat Smoke. The mood does become more despairing and bleak in tone across the whole EP with OLD GOAT SMOKE becoming more confident with their unsettled creative vision with the outstanding second track of Return To Dirt.

Return To Dirt is a sludge fuelled nightmarish sound with copious amounts of trippy Doom/Stoner Metal where the band excel playing that classic sounding DOWN-TUNED groove with the vocals moving between Harsh Growls and almost Death based vocals that have a sense of despairing torture behind them. The music is what holds the attention with OLD GOAT SMOKE playing a subtle slow-to-mid pace which is perhaps the right direction for the whole EP to take.

The final song The Great Hate is where OLD GOAT SMOKE opt for a slightly “LESS IS MORE” approach with the sludgy bass growls and hardcore vocals which dominate the musical landscape. The pulsating sound of the bass impressed me the most here before the band starts playing some classic Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves that felt like the band were fighting against an unknown enemy. AMPLIFIER DISTORTION and GUITAR FEEDBACK reign supreme for the later stages of the track that ends on a highly satisfactory conclusion.

With this being a Demo release, DEMO has intense production values. The whole sound and overall tone of the EP is vicious and allows OLD GOAT SMOKE to do their thing and let the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community know that a great new voice has most definitely arrived. With their debut album being planned for next year then I have a feeling OLD GOAT SMOKE will be one of the bands to lookout for in 2024.

Words by Steve Howe


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