The 9 albums that inspired King Goat's progressive doom sound

King Goat
(Image: © Natalie Z Photography)

Progressive doom overlords King Goat are releasing their new album Debt Of Aeons on April 20, and are premiering their new video for Doldrum Sentinels right now with Metal Hammer.

But where did this melding of prog and doom come from? Well, give the below song a listen, then read our guide to King Goat’s sound written by the band themselves!

“So what kind of stuff do you guys play?” Is a question that we’ve always been reluctant to answer. Definitions of genres change over time and mean different things to different people. Through this list, we’re hoping to give you a better insight as to how it is we ended up with our idea of ‘progressive doom’ and what it means to us.

Ephel Duath – Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness

Petros (guitar): Although Ephel Duath have unfortunately split up, the legacy they’ve left behind is really interesting. This, their final album, has really resonated with me; the riffs are both emotive and technical, while maintaining certain atmospheric qualities that I didn’t expect from this level of playing. There’s a form of storytelling to be found in there, one that I greatly appreciate and inspire to recreate in King Goat.

Code – Mut

Joe (guitar): I’ve been a fan of Code for years now; their endlessly innovative approach to the weirder side of black metal appeals to me greatly. We’ve also all long-admired the work of vocalist Wacian, and on this, his second full length with the band, he’s really able to come into his own. The way that they pair his melancholy croons with the lightly distorted, winding instrumentation represents a masterclass in songcraft that I feel would be foolish to ignore.

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – Of Natural History

Jon (drums): Out of the three SGM albums, this is the one that I return to time and time again. One thing that always impresses me is that it’s an album that’s not afraid to take it’s time getting to its destination. It feels very much as if it were thought out as a whole, not as just a collection of songs, which is an approach we have really tried to include in our efforts when writing. It’s also deliberately uneasy, stubborn and surprising throughout, which opened me up to the more difficult listening within heavy and progressive music.

Mastodon – Crack The Skye

Petros: Crack The Skye​ might not be Mastodon’s heaviest album, but it’s certainly the proggiest one. It’s rich in both instrumental and vocal textures. Not a single riff is wasted and the tracks flow perfectly from one another. Furthermore, they created a very good balance between extended compositions, and shorter, straight to the point tracks; something that I’m still working to achieve with the way I’m writing songs.

​Virus – The Agent That Shapes The Desert

Petros: This is a strange album that at first I thought sounded hypnotic, but somehow, Virus found endless ways in their methods to keep things varied, interesting, and original. It’s almost as if they took one texture and thoroughly explored all the good combination of riffs, resulting in a very interesting and coherent set of songs. This exploratory compositional style is something that always interested me and find myself doing quite often.

In The Woods… – Strange in Stereo

Joe: I’ve long referred to In The Woods… as my favourite band; their changing sound, but undeniable identity conveyed through a unique atmosphere manages to be both heart-wrenchingly emotional and uplifting for me. This album shows them taking a doomier, almost gothic approach in parts. Often at the forefront are these melody lines, many of which I’d love to steal, which dance with the vocals and rhythm, serving to accent and embolden them instead of drawing attention away. Playing sections like these feels otherworldly!

Ihsahn – Eremita

Petros: We couldn’t put together a list of progressive genre-bending music without at least one mention to our friendly Norwegian overlord. The tracks progress in the usual Ihsahn way, full of amazingly crafted, multi-layered riffs, until we reach the tracks ​Grief​ and ​The Grave​. A cinematic-sounding orchestra kicks in that performs a dynamic and emotive piece, and as it finishes the heaviest and most dramatic riff in the album is introduced in all its glory. There’s a lesson to be learned here on how to plan dynamically a riff within contrasting sections, while keeping a natural song structure and album flow.

Wrekmeister Harmonies – You’ve Always Meant So Much To Me

Petros: Wrekmeister Harmonies was an interesting, accidental discovery. I was going through more dark ambient playlists when I stumbled upon them. I thought it was some very pretty sounding ambient stuff just like the rest of it, but it slowly built up, and kept building up, progressively replacing the ethereal string driven textures with darker, more ominous and distorted ones. Then eventually the heavy part drops. It’s heavy, it’s moody but above all it’s really emotive. If I had to slap a genre in front of it I’d say it’s some sort of blackened, ambient, post-doom metal, but that just sucks that fun out of it!

Secret Chiefs 3 (Ishraqiyun) – Perichoresis

Jon: I first discovered Secret Chiefs 3 through their ​Book Of Horizons album, which is still one of my most played albums to this day. The album that has probably had the biggest impact on our writing however is ​Perichoresis​ (by Secret Chiefs 3’s Neo-Pythagorean electro-folk satellite band Ishraqiyun). At a time where there are a lot of “rhythm-riff-based” heavy bands going down one path, it helped to make me think about ways in which more complex rhythm can be used in a more natural and less clinical style within heavy music.

King Goat’s new album Debt Of Aeons is out April 20 via Aural Music.

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