Published Mar 22, 2011While casual listeners know North Carolina's Mountain Goats as a gentle indie folk act, any fan worth their salt knows that leader John Darnielle has a thing for heavy metal. Considering past song titles include "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" and "Marduk T-shirt Men's Room Incident," it didn't come as too huge a surprise to learn that Darnielle tapped extreme metal luminary Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel) to record a few songs for the band's new disc All Eternals Deck. Considering their softened back catalogue, it also shouldn't come as a surprise that the album, streaming all week on Exclaim.ca, sticks to the sound the Mountain Goats know best.
The album comes out March 29 on Merge Records, but before you plan your trip to the record store, you can check out the record in full here.
Generally centred on lightly brushed drums, twinkling pianos and gentle guitar strums, All Eternals Deck isn't exactly the most skull-crushing of albums, but Darnielle's lyrics do take on an ominous tone. Opener "Damn These Vampires" may float by like a summer breeze, but on it, the singer calls out the bloodsuckers for sinking their chompers into his arteries. Late-night saloon piano and cinema-score strings envelope the rapturous "Outer Scorpion Squadron," but Darnielle creeps things up a bit, discussing how best to conjure up a ghost and how to drown someone.
A press release explains that the album find the band "gravitating toward images and stories of doomed people or tribes trying to leave a scratch mark or two on some visible surface before their brief moment in the sun has slipped by forever."
As ooky as that might sound, the Goats still manage to crack a smile between the breezy, Sunday-morning porch folk of "Birth of Serpents" and the juiced-up acoustic rocker "Prowl Great Cain."
Stay tuned for these future full-album streams on Exclaim.ca:
Timber Timbre Creep on Creepin' On March 29 to April 4
Thursday No Devolución April 5 to April 11
Panda Bear Tomboy April 12 to April 18