Goatpsalm – Downstream

Rating: 4/5
Released: 2016
Label/Distributor : Aesthetic Death Records
Buy Album: https://goatpsalm.bandcamp.com/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Goatpsalm/


H- Bass/Electronics/Noises
Kim – Drumsdownstream-coverart
Sadist – Guitars
Vaarwel – Guitars/Vocals


1. Downstream
2. Flowers Of The Underworld
3. Grey Rocks
4. Of Bone And Sinew
5. Orphan
6. The Waylayer – A Great Spring Healer
7. White Sea


In 2009 members of Russian Black Metal Terrorists decided to forge a new path and explore some new ideas. The result was Goatpsalm – a devilish foray into the realms of dark ambience. It is quite beguiling.

The album opens with the title track – an ambient drone reminiscent of Neurosis at their most feral. It is spine tinglingly malevolent. Vaarwel’s vocals veer from tortured whispers to excruciatingly guttural wails. Next up is “Flowers Of The Underworld”, its tribal intro inducing a peyote-like trance state. As it progresses it is possessed of a doomilicious, funereal atmosphere – slow, but full of macabre ambience. Track 3 is called “Grey Rocks”, which begins with the sound of chirruping insects and flowing water before developing into a nihilistic pit of despair.

Momentum is maintained with “Of Bone And Sinew”; its grinding guitars and feedback-like aura akin to being cut with a blunt razor. The gloomy, dust encrusted “Orphan” follows and is a mummified delight. “The Waylayer….” comes on like a nightmarish bad trip, conjuring up images of trees howling with mocking laughter.

The album closes with the instrumental “White Sea”, which builds and builds to an almost unbearable level of intensity, all the while radiating an undercurrent of hope, in stark contrast to the misery laden shenanigans of the previous six tracks.

“Downstream” showcases a band with a great promise. Their overall sound is a potent mix of Neurosis-esque atmospherics and tribalism, and the abject misery of Funeral Doom. Quite mesmeric.

Review by Owen Thompson