Year of the Goat’s tumultuous genius spreads retribution, fire on ‘Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis’

We’re watching the world burn. Oh, quite literally. The goddamn jungle is on fire. But that charring also is running through our societal systems, our political structure, and our miasmal lives. There’s a stench from the black smoke billowing from this Earth that might be telling the story of how we choked ourselves out with absolute reckless abandon.

Swedish occult soothsayers Year of the Goat are watching on with practical glee on their faces. Not that they’re cheering on the destruction of the world. But the evil the see in others, the diabolical forces that get waved off and blamed on other things creates the rot they’ve written about for many years now. Their latest opus is “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis,” which translates to new world order, and it’s a nine-track drama that builds form piece to piece and might as well be showing us portraits of our deaths to our faces while they mock us. This dark troops—Thomas Sabbathi (vocals, guitar), Jonas Mattsson (guitar), Linus Lundgren (guitar), Joona Hassinen  (bass), Daniel Melo (drums), Pope (mellotron, vocals—spin webs you cannot escape, and even while you’re enraptured by melody and catchiness, you’re always brought back to the hard truth, that things are, essentially, fucked.

“Subortus” starts the record with guitars ringing to life before twin leads join up and add crunch, and Sabbathi’s powerful, emotive vocals lead the way. The track rushes with fire, as Sabbathi wails, “My name shall be adversary, earth’s powers are mine,” while sinister voices add to the chaos, and the track comes to a spirited end. “Acedia” has a psychedelic feel while the tempo gallops, guitars rise, and the chorus again is a killer. “Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t waste your time making plans,” Sabbathi warns, while the song comes to a huge finish. “Luxuria” has dual guitars calling out and the pace of the song charging up and going over the top. “My eyes lusted for what I saw, my heart drew me in, a bitter taste on my tongue, left by the sweets I was served,” Sabbathi sings, as the track delves deep in golden-toned 1970s-style rock. Strong soloing flexes its muscles before the track comes to an atmospheric end. “Ira” runs 9:40 and has a bluesy, Pink Floyd-flavored start. The vocals are softer, as the track takes on ballad qualities, as Sabbathi pushes, “For those fallen short of the glory, I’ll be the tempest, I’ll be the storm.” Naturally, the song builds with fury as it goes, as the vocals turn raspier, the emotion threatens, and fiery soloing and a heavy prog feel unite and drive the song over the edge.

“Superbia” has guitars charging from the gates as the band bursts with speed and power, giving off a sort of revival feel, as the blood washes over, choral callbacks quake, and the track comes to a tumultuous end. “Gula” also begins in flames as the band charges the gates, and your insides are left to quiver. “A body to honor god  by making it a holy shrine, and put a knife to your throat if you’re ever given to Gula,” Sabbathi commands as the track bristles with life and then ends in a calming pool. “Artiria” has keys settling in before meeting up with punchy guitars, as the bulk of the track deals heavy body blows to you, unsuspecting of the attack, as you’re left prone and gushing. “Invidia” is metallic when it starts and again gets the heart racing. “All your pain, all your tears, leave them by the cross,” Sabbathi urges, as the track rouses the spirit of rebellion, and the final calls of, “It’s all about me,” punctuate the guitars that leaves the walls crumbling and burning. “Subicio” is the 14-minute closer that starts with psyche wash, vocals at a much higher register, and the tidal wave of anguish and sorrow. This is a tremendous ballad, where Sabbathi wonders, “Is this my kingdom, where the sin outshines the lordly grace?” as the track moves on and paints the surface red. Lucifer’s fall is outlined in gory detail, as the track takes on many faces, later on with Sabbathi painfully wondering, “How can I live if they have to die to live again?” The track promises retribution and dark justice, as group chants emerge, Sabbathi calls, “I can still hear the children cry, though they’ve been blessed by the water,” as the tumult levels, and everything fades into a noise spiral.

Year of the Goat, somehow, haven’t gotten swept up in the recent wave of occult rock bands that have inundated our senses, but underneath all of that, they’ve done nothing but put out strong records that haunt you. “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis” is another penetrating chapter in their creative history, another triumphant work of foreboding shadows you don’t see coming. One day people will wake up to their brilliance, but when that happens, it might be too late for us all.

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