Goat - Requiem album review

Greatness and indulgence on wicker-worshippers’ third

Goat Requiem album cover

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These masked Swedish witch-doctor types are steeped in a mythology of voodoo curses and free-thinking communes they’ve constructed around their Arctic Circle ‘home town’ of Korpilombolo (almost certainly bollocks, sadly – I’ve been there and asked). Still, Goat have built a minor cult around their progressive, globe-straddling psychedelic world music, and this third album will only lengthen the Kool-Aid queue.

Syphoning the world music diaspora from Peruvian mountain pipe melodies (Union Of Sun And Moon) to acid mariachi (Alarms), sunny Afrobeat (Trouble In The Streets) and Indian raga (Try My Robe) into a mystical psychedelic stew, it’d be a godawful mess but for the unifying thread of 60s Haight-Ashbury hippie pop woven through their robe hems. And the anonymous female singers squealing about the universal family and free love on I Sing In Silence and Psychedelic Lover. Womad meets Woodstock, basically.

Gradually, though, lengthy hypnotic indulgences that are only really of use as background muzak for a sacrifice start to dominate. Goatband and Goatfuzz are unnecessary seven-minute jazz-rock drones, and final track Ubuntu is a swirl of minimalist spoken-word African philosophising that summons the titular Aztec god of cod-spiritual album padding (or something). Until they start with the onstage chicken slaughter, their wide-horizoned pop plays better.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.