The National Orchestra Of The United Kingdom Of Goats: Vaaya & The Sea

Bleatingly strong third album from the sci-fi mentalists.

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Maybe it’s an age thing, but the image of a band poncing around with painted faces, top hats and robes is a touch off-putting. Hasn’t it all been done countless times before? And when the names of the band members include such wacky monikers as The Coachman and The Seer, you begin to wonder if seeking attention overrides their musical ambitions.

That’s a pity, as once you get past that superfluous bollocks, the music on Vaaya And The Sea is immensely seductive. Opener The Unyielding Summons sets the tone, twisting through aggressive guitars and Muse-like grandiosity before morphing into the elegant Chains.

Indeed, it’s that flair for flitting between modern metal and more delicate tracks that gives the album such balance. The White City displays this perfectly and will be appreciated by anyone who adores soaring melodies. Lyrically, there’s a sense that they’re trying to imitate the sci-fi concepts of Coheed And Cambria, but the narrative never becomes overbearing.

While the gruff vocals on part two of Black Citadel may dissuade some, overall this is another fine and inspired release.