Album: Mephistophelian Exordium
Label: Hessian Firm
Release Date: 20/11/2020
We are back again with another Goatcraft review, this time we have a full-length album and when I say full-length, I mean FULL. Mephistophelian Exordium drops on November 20th on Hessian Firm.
If you aren’t familiar with Goatcraft, it’s a one-man project by Jason Lonegoat, who hails from San Antonio, Texas. You may know him as Napalm from Nocturnus’s project After Death. However, the majority of his work throughout his musical career comes from this solo project. He plays a fusion of neoclassical and dark ambient music with the energy and atmosphere of a black metal project, but not featuring any black metal music.
The 2 CD album that we are here to discuss is made up of music from multiple sources. We start with a 22-minute 2015 live performance on KSYM-FM college radio in San Antonio. The second song (and title track for the album) is an extra track that didn’t make the cut for the 2015 album Yersinia Pestis. Then the remainder of the album features 22 demo tracks that Lonegoat handed out as self-burned CDRs at live shows. Some of these songs were eventually released through Pale Horse Recordings in 2011, but now they’re all here in one place.
The music featured on the album is as mentioned a combination of neoclassical and dark ambient music. The 22-minute opening track is an extremely moving piece of music. The amount of emotion, atmosphere and energy that went into the song is truly impressive. Lonegoat defines his music as Necroclassical and I understand what he means by that term. There’s an unsettling and menacing energy and atmosphere to his music, which you’ll see more on the following tracks on the album.
Track 2 Mephistophelian Exordium is a great follow on track from the opener. It continues on with the same style but features some more ambience and other atmospheric elements than the 22-minute epic. Things are also a little less heavy regarding the keys being played.
Then we have the 22 following demo tracks which I can’t discuss all of or we would be here all day. So, I’m going to discuss the rest of the album in general terms. What we get is a great blend of moody and brooding piano tracks mixed with haunting dark ambient tracks. The album could easily be a soundtrack to a horror movie or a fantasy epic due to the impressive atmosphere that it creates. There’s a lot of variety in song structures and lengths here. Ranging from 1-minute dark ambient interludes to 13-minute piano epics such as Untitled track 20. There is a range of emotion displayed in the music, ranging from menacing and oppressive to haunting and ethereal and hopeful and optimistic. Piano is one of those instruments that is able to literally translate human emotion into musical form and has a truly impressive range of sounds and tones to be able to achieve this and Lonegoat fully utilizes this range.
Overall, this is a moving collection of music, spanning over half a decade in Lonegoat’s career and it’s worth your time. It’s something that should really be listened to all in one sitting or at the very most two sittings, with tracks 1 and 2 in one sitting and then the other 22 songs in another. It’s not often that black metal energy and emotion can be captured in non-metal music and I think that’s one of the factors that makes Goatcraft such a unique project. It’s what keeps drawing me back at least. So, take some time out of your day and listen to the pre-released track and get your order in today or come back Friday to hear the rest of the album.
Listen to the pre-released track below and pre order the album at the link below: