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Reflections Of The Solstice
(NWN! Productions)

It was about time that someone decided to re-issue GOATLORD's cult debut album "Reflections Of The Solstice"- initially released back in 1991. Although they have released only two full-length albums the band is nowadays considered responsible for what is characterized as "Doom / Death", a style that for some reason never managed to become widely popular within the scene. GOATLORD had a very unique "cryptic", suffocating, almost catacomb-like sound that was (and still is) hard to digest, being mostly mid-tempo Death Metal but with some slow, really dark / doom parts in it. Unfortunately the band had some weak points that didn't help a lot - if you ask me - with the first being the somehow naive lyrics and image of the band. Especially in their demo days when they had this whole "goat-perversion" thing (to quote IMPALED NAZARENE, heh) that although serves as a sarcastic mocking to Catholic Christianity, it turns out - to a certain extend - irritating and more precisely... silly. The same goes to some pictures of the band that somehow ruined to a great extend their image that music-wise is dark. I guess the fact that they were from the States where the MISFITS-influence was dominant in lots of 80s extreme acts proves why the incorporate the dark-provocative-humor kind of thing. Hopefully they have chosen a great title for their debut (when compared to the "Sodomize The Goat" demo title) and the classic Chris Moyen cover artwork is a perfect replacement to their - on my opinion - awful demo covers. Still some song-titles and lyrics are in the goat-worship spirit (some of them being compositions from the demo days) but hopefully the music is good. Back to the re-issue now, Nuclear War Now! Productions did an incredible re-release in both CD and LP format. First of all, I want to praise the efforts of the label in doing such extraordinary, quality re-releases. I mean, I have never before been that impressed by a label, you have to see the incredible LP versions they prepare including a very thick jacket, huge posters and lots of goodies like vinyl-size booklets with photos and even die-hard versions with patches, stickers, bonus 7" etc! We are talking about real value for money here! And the CD re-releases come with great booklets in nice, clear printings and in a very low price to top it all! "Reflections Of The Solstice" is no exception to the above "rule": I even prefer the black/white cover of the re-release than the original colored cover (and the same goes to the original logo that looks great with the b/w cover)! To conclude, I guess that if you are a late 80s/early 90s completist or you simply want to discover one underrated, yet obscure band from the dark past then you have to reserve your copy.

Manolis A.

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