Despite a somewhat misleading moniker, Goats of Doom are 100% black metal through and through, and one of the Finnish underground’s best-kept secrets. And yet, compared to the filthy recesses of their native contemporaries, Goats of Doom specialize in a sleek and alluringly melodic sort of black metal – no less aggressive, but with the emphasis on mysticism and melody.
Goats of Doom was founded in 2008 by Scaregod and Inasnum. Three full-lengths eventually followed in 2012, 2015, and 2017 with this lineup; in this iteration, the band was more synth-based black metal, but not strictly “symphonic black metal” by definition. Now expanded to a trio, Goats of Doom show a new face on Rukous, where the mysterious atmosphere of old is shot through with more surging aggression and bewitching melody: in essence, a melodic blizzard, if you will. It’s characteristically Finnish in its melancholy – melody can never be too saccharine, of course – but burns icy hot with a passion that makes its seven-song/42-minute runtime a nightsky treasure to behold. The theme of Rukous is suitably spirituality, and hereby do Goats of Doom offer myriad ways to worship the dark.