Friday 21 November 2014

Goya / Wounded Giant - Split 12" Vinyl (Review) & Exclusive Artwork Revealed

Album Type: Split 12”
Date Released: 3/1/2015
Label: STB Records

Press Release:

You've been smoking the finest stash and drinking the meanest brew. The sweat has soaked through your beard and your shirt has been torn to shreds. Half cocked and fully loaded, you want to rail at the Gods for their malevolent ways...

There is no place in the sky for you. It's time to descend to the room of the torch and conjure ancient beasts. The Dystheist desires vengeance...

STB Records is proud to present the thickest, loudest, meanest split this side of the river Styx. Pairing two of the heaviest hitters the American underground has to offer and fresh from their assault on the West Coast, Goya and Wounded Giant are two different bands with a common objective.

It's time we put them together so they can shake the pillars of heaven until the universe collapses and implodes into nothingness... the end is now. 

‘Goya / Wounded Giant’ Split 12” Vinyl track listing:

1). Goya – No Place in the Sky (14:03)
2). Wounded Giant – The Room of the Torch (07:07)
3). Wounded Giant – Dystheist (06:09)  


In January 2015, STB Records are set to unleash two of the biggest hitters from the American underground doom scene upon the world. The split 12”, which features exclusive artwork from David Paul Seymour, is an enthralling documentation of these bands continuous growth. It is a growth which has consequently seduced STB Records into penning deals with the two acts and here we can hear that seduction loud and clear. Limited to a 12” vinyl pressing of a mere 430, you’ll have to act quick if you want a physical copy of what is arguably the best material released from both bands to date.    

Channelling the unyielding, earth-shattering explosions of Electric Wizard, ‘No Place in the Sky’ from Goya is an extremely arresting piece of music. From the crackling fuzz that oozes out of your speakers from the off, as thick as oil and as nasty as the school bully, to the last wounded chords, Goya leave you in total rapture. Tony Iommi inspired lead work is scattered throughout, respectful in its bluesy core and without over-emphasising their admiration for the Godfather of metal, its indifferent enough for this band to carve out their own path, Hachette in hand. Sure, Goya may worship at the altar of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard – and who can blame them – but they’ve formed their own, original branch of the religion of doom to call their own. The fundamental principles and beliefs are drawn from the same teachings, but the minor details, of which there are many, are where their true personalities beckon. Their sound is as characteristic and as impossible to ignore as the Bat-Signal blaring into a cold, dead night sky. 

From sudden dynamic drops, where the drums, carrying a seismic groove take charge momentarily, to the vast and sepulchral, bellowed vocals and the snarling riffs – this is doom at its most ambitious and most instantaneously powerful. For the majority of the song’s sprawling length droning chords, almost the antithesis to the lulling hums of serene, monk prayer, the track obliterate your speakers. The real magic however, is what happens in between these delectably devilish movements. The transitions and fills, the intricate details that weld these passages together are mesmeric. There are so many, each minutely complex in their own indignant way, and they do their job with little fuss, giving the song as a whole a tremendous ebb and flow.

As such, they leave a colossal pair of muddy boots to fill on the second side of this split. Wounded Giant needed a response of the highest order and what they do is deliver the same guttural sound, the same smoky aesthetics but package them together in a shorter, punchier and more melodiously focussed coffin. ‘The Room Of The Torch’ doesn’t so much go for your throat as it does for your head and heart. The guitar-work is truly excellent, expelling frenzied riffs that will stay with you for a long while afterwards, while their passion is seething. Gothic undertones haunt their sound, the kind of which In Solitude has found success with and, somewhat ironically, it gives the songs more colour. The chomping riff which sees the song rumble and rattle into life is of great contrast to the slower, more dramatic poundings of Goya on the opposite side, but damn, when those drums kick in you become a mere slave to the music.

‘Dysthiest’ meanwhile is as evil as they come. A delicate blend of light and shade, using the same riff and groove to take you to different places in your lucid dreaming, all the while, delivered with a fist wrapped in barbed wire – not quite so delicate. Again they manage to pertain the same booming power as Goya but in a more condensed and, dare I say it, accessible package.

Now, the nature of a split 12” such as this is to pitch two bands against each other. As a competition it’s hard to say exactly who wins as both employ entirely contrasting tactics in a bid to reach the same result. Where Goya’s flame burns slowly, with a gruesome, more melancholic sound, Wounded Giant charge in with two upbeat, catchier, snappier tracks.

It’s easier to devour the Wounded Giant songs, but the patience taken to truly appreciate the denseness of ‘No Place In The Sky’ is extremely rewarding. One boxer darts about the ring, launching punches left, right and centre, while the other stands his ground and takes the punches before, at long lost unravelling a wrecking ball of an uppercut. It’s a marathon runner going the distance against a sprinter running in short, rapid bursts.

While I would say that the Wounded Giant tracks are the ones I will most likely revisit more often over time, due in part to their length and heightened melodicism, you cannot underestimate the heavy hitting sound of Goya. In all, it is the variety of this record, its contrasting flavours and mentalities that makes it as special as it is. Both bands deserve a towering notoriety within the confines of the genre but for two very different reasons.        

Words: Phil Weller  

You will be able to pick up a copy via STB Records in the new year.  Until then soak up the awesome artwork from David Paul Seymour and take comfort that STB Records is likely to produce their finest package to date.  This record is stunning, make no mistake. 

Release info:

Limited Vinyl Pressing of 430

Die Hard Edition - 80 pieces
Band Only - 100 pieces
OBI Series - 100 pieces
Not So Standard Edition - 150 pieces

Mastered specifically for vinyl

Exclusive artwork done by David Paul Seymour.

"To me these are the best songs either band has released to date. The amount of passion and effort both bands put forth for this release is astonishing. It’s impossible to chose which side I like better. The depth of the songs lyrically and through sound are utter perfection in my mind. Prepare to have your mind blow as well as your speakers!!!" - STB

Album credits

released 03 January 2015

Goya (Phoenix, AZ)

Wounded Giant (Seattle, WA)