And below you will find an interview with the great Finnish Black Metal band GOATS OF DOOM. The band has existed since 2008, has already released six albums, the last one last year on the German label “Purity Through Fire” the great “Shiva” that deserves to be heard. Without further ado, GOATS OF DOOM…
Goats of Doom is one of the names we mention when we talk about Finnish Black Metal bands. How has this journey been since 2008?
Pretty normal for a black metal band: Things took on quite slowly at first but after we got our first recording deal with Ewiges Eis and played our first gig there’s been sort of upward spiral. Record roughly every year with more and more live shows following each one. Up until the pandemic hit, that is. That bought some breathing room and time to rehearse the songs on Shiva.
How did you get to the band name: “Goats of Doom”? What does it mean to the band?
We wanted something that could be shortened to god. This was way, way back and we get why someone could have a problem with it. The name stuck however and we never saw a need to change the name since it’s a perfect reflection of us as a band. We might be all dark, esoteric and stuff but don’t have a stick up our ass about it.
The first release of the band was a split “Deathcult ov Doomgoat” with Dødkvlt. How did that happen? Because you haven’t released anything so far, who made it happen at the time?
Before that we had a handful of unofficial, unreleased demos ready. They eventually made their way into the hands of Dødkvlts frontman who proposed a split. He gave us the boost in notoriety that led to our current situation.
Now you have two albums released by Purity Through Fire. How’s it like to work with them?
Straightforward. They give us a ton of leeway in creative department and focus on label functions.
The combination of Thelema and H.P. Lovecraft on your music, reflects your personal life as a human being? Which elements attract you in both?
Original themes were conceived more than a decade ago and there has been significant personal growth between all of us. That being said, we still have a love for horror, spirituality and the esoteric. Themes that we implement on lyrics have just gradually evolved into other topics. There’s only so much you can write about cosmic horror and occult.
Attraction to Lovecraft is simple: They are great novels, and horror with sanity themes lent themselves to metal lyrics phenomenally well. Thelema stayed with us longer but has been phased out by more in-general spiritual themes. Crowleys views, especially those on magick, still hold true tough. Maybe more than ever. One could make a claim that spells as described in his literature literally work as perception and thus reality altering rituals and find we have little to no objections.
If we could talk about satanism and Black Metal, would you say that they are connected? I mean…. To be Black Metal, it gotta be satanic? Because of the new album, how did you mix the Hindu philosophy to Black Metal?
One would have to be blind to claim they are not connected. Whether they should- tends to devolve into a purity spiral. While it’s fun to throw some gas into flames every now and then, by and large we don’t care who considers what to be what. Our opinions on that are meaningless.
When it comes to Shiva, it’s not so much Hindu philosophy but their mythology that we implemented. Shiva is a metaphor for destruction and creation of new, which is more what the record is about than Hinduism in general. Allegories. This is what people will see more from us in the future. You need to get past the song names and visuals and decipher what is the underlying message if you are truly interested in what we’re trying to say.
Talking about the new album “Shiva”. How is it different from the previous release ” Tie on hänen omilleen”? What have changed in between?
Short and concise: The pandemic happened. Were angrier and more fatalistic. We also had an underlying theme tat we stuck to.
This new album is more melodic, but has a strong punkish Black Metal attitude. What are the Goats Of Doom main influences?
We prefer not to go into listing specific bands. There’s a lot of aggression, frustration and funnily enough, serenity in our lives right now. We are fed up with domestic and international affairs, bring those up and after a few drinks there will be holes punched through walls. On the other hand we live in a very remote northern region. There’s tranquility in nature that is very soothing and inspiring.
The vocal work on the “Shiva” album is impressive. We have harsh vocals, screams and also clean singing like in “Armon varjot”. Do you think it brings different perspectives to the song? These dual voices have been present in Goats Of Doom since the beginning?
Yes, they have been there from the very start. If they didn’t bring anything to the music we wouldn’t use them. Sometimes we use more, sometimes less.. usually we approach this on case by case basis.
I also gotta say that this album has some of the best hard rock and punk solo guitar work I’ve ever heard in a black metal record, what takes us to the creative process? What comes first? Lyrics or the arrangements?
Depends on the song and record. Like for example Shiva and upcoming one both had one song, idea or lyric that was to set the whole theme of that record. After that lyrics and songs come as they come and we mix and match them together as we see fit.
In the band who is responsible for the lyrics and for the arrangements at first? And how much time did it take to get the album done?
Pretty much everyone writes lyrics but the vocalists arrange them. Composing has so far been a one man job handled by Scaregod. Once we get into it it’s roughly a year per record, from demos to finished product.
Lovecraft was a strong and antireligious atheist; he considered religion not merely false but dangerous to social and political progress. Do you think Satanism as an ideology goes against Lovecraft’s ideas? I also read that you developed your own satanism ideology. Could you tell us a little about it?
Probably, Lovecraft would likely be a scientific technocrat were he alive today, and thus condemn satanism. Lovecraft also hated Finns with a deep, burning passion. And had a hilariously named cat. Doesn’t make his novels any worse.
As far as the ideology goes: Our world views are ours. We have five differing ones in this band, some more matching than others, but no “grand” philosophy. Even if we did, we wouldn’t share it publically. We prophesize doom for mankind at best and need no followers.
What are your main inspirations in life? On your music and outside.
Outdoors. It really helps to distance oneself from the world. Especially issues that you have no control over. Nowhere do you feel as isolated as in waist-deep snow in the middle of the wilderness. That isolation and peace gives you a sort of lens to look at the world through: People are so accustomed to having everything provided for them, no-one ever even bothers to think about stuff such as supply lines. One week without electricity and everyone living in a city is utterly fucked. If the trucks stop moving that supermarket is empty within days. But it’s fine as long as folks have their fast food, bars, cinemas and fucking gym readily available. And now the whole urbanized world is in lockdown. Hysterical sheep are killing themselves off and I get to watch. Self-induced mass-extinction event, it’s funny. If you know what “behavioral sink” is it pretty much sums it up.
Do you have other active projects? Because I think Goats Of Doom isn’t anyone’s first project.
Neither the first, nor only. We have some plans, different genres and such, but we’d rather talk about those when we have something presentable to offer.
The whole band is from Finland? Nivala, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa looks like a quiet place for a Black Metal band. How is the metal scene around where you live?
Originally we’re all from Nivala, although two members temporarily live down south. For a town of only ten thousand people the music scene is surprisingly active. Guess it helps when there is little else to do and you have to entertain yourself.
The Finnish Black Metal is known for some aspects. The “Elitism” is one of them. How has been the acceptance of Goats Of Doom in the Finnish BM circles? And how has been the feedback of the album worldwide so far?
We’re not trying to please them. We make the music because we like making it, and if we don’t know someone, we couldn’t care less about their reaction. Among our acquaintances the response has varied from excellent to utter disappointment, emphasis on the former. “Tie on hänen omilleen” might have garnered more attention but at that time we were touring more, so we’re quite happy with what has been achieved so far. Once we get a few live gigs with Shiva it’ll surely surpass its predecessors.
Which elements from the Finnish Black Metal do you think Goats Of Doom have?
The cold atmosphere, melodicity, pagan influence… And a healthy dose of “fuck you, I’ll do this my way!”
One interesting aspect: When Shiva was released, I was talking with two friends about it and one of them said “I have never listened to GoD and this picture of them look weird for the Black Metal standards. What he meant I think was “the spikes, the black, the woods and the snow”…where are they? Do you think people are still stuck in a way that “Black metal needs to be like back in the 90’s?
Some members of the band literally live in the middle of these said dark northern forests, to us there is no “scariness” or “mystique” in them. Imagewise we’re trying to distance ourselves from the whole black metal shtick, since it’s (ironically for a genre so obsessed with freedom and breaking rules) such a constraint. Just like your friend demonstrated: You need spikes, corpse paint, leather, blood… Now that is a part of black metal, don’t get us wrong, but refer to our previous answer about purity spiraling. We’re not going to act as if we are a pure black metal band, we don’t embrace the moniker, and that gives us freedom to act out some more retarded ideas.
What bands have you listened to nowadays? Any recommendations?
Go far enough into a forest until you no longer hear any sounds of civilization, make a campfire, open up a bottle of cheap vodka and fire up some Tapio Rautavaara.
Or G.G. Allin.
When you are not in Goats Of Doom, what do you guys like to do to relax and enjoy your time?
We all have day jobs, that pretty much eats up your time. Most of us have pets, apart from that we’re pretty varied.
What are the plans for 2022 and next year? What could we expect from Goats Of Doom?
We want to do some shows with songs from Shiva, some are already lined up but we’re rather doubtful about those gigs actually happening. Whatever, gives us time to rehearse. Once we eventually get few more shows under our belt it’s time to get serious about the next record.
We appreciate the interview. Please, send our readers a message, if you can!
We appreciate the interest.