In the expansive metalverse, doom is my first love. When a band delivers a fat Iommi riff drenched in the fog of genre convention, I am content to sit, passively, in the palm of their momentarily almighty hand.
What ye may not know about this particular scribe is that, in addition to the doom, I also encountered a pretty sizable grunge period in my late teens. Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, et. al. were the name of the game, and the tropes associated with those melancholic wells still run deep in my musical preferences. Thus, when the two combine in unholy matrimony, my cold heart inevitably warms and weeps. This sentiment, of course, leads us to the track before us now--CELLARDOOR’s excellent debut single, released today.
Wearing occult influences and philosophy on its sleeve, this subtle banger is entitled “Hail The Goat.” Much more importantly, however, it is well worth your while. After a brief intro, that deliciously simple-yet-monolithic riff opens up into mournful vocals, which admittedly sound like the product of a fresh-faced graduate from the School of Layne. Certainly not a bad quality, in my book--there’s a fine line between living or stagnating amongst the confines of an established sound, and here, there is enough of an Ozzy-esque edge to excuse the overt similarity. Besides, Layne Staley was a great fuckin’ vocalist, so if people sound like him, that implies that they have some chops in the vox department as well. Good thing, too: this track relies heavily on a mean chorus, the main melody of which has been running through my head since initially sampling the track. The back half delves into some intriguing passages, shaking up the typical verse structure with a little languid stretching. “Hail The Goat” is, on one level, well-formulated. On another, it sounds like the product of a band with a couple of albums under their belt, and I don’t say that lightly.
That said, the production could stand to be beefed up--as it stands, the guitar tone doesn't quite evoke that "swallow you up" quality. And, if we're being critical, the track feels a tad too long for the compositional components it brings. A 20 second trim here or there may have served well. But! All told, "Hail The Goat" is a very fine track indeed, particularly given CELLARDOOR’s lack of prior output. Promo material indicates that CELLARDOOR “combines heaviness with euphoric progression and vocal style akin to the greats of the late grunge era like Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and My Sisters Machine.” That’s a hard combo to nail, but if this single is any indication: mission accomplished.
Needless to say, this Villager is quite excited to see whatever CELLARDOOR cooks up next. Highly recommend you check this one out, if the low, slow, and angsty holds some level of appeal.
CELLARDOOR - "Hail The Goat" was released Feb. 14th for Name Your Price on Bandcamp.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.