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Blackwolfgoat
Drone Maintenance

SS-151/2014

 

BLACKWOLFGOAT is
Darryl Shepard: guiatrs, vocals

Recorded at Amps vs. Ohms studio in September 2013..
Produced by Blackwolfgoat and Glenn Smith.
Engineered and mixed by Glenn Smith.
Mastered at Baseline Audio Labs by Chris Goosman.
Album artwork and design by Alexander von Wieding.
Album concept by Darryl Shepard.
Tracks 3, 4, 6 and 8 recorded live in the studio, no overdubs.
All songs written by BLACKWOLFGOAT © 2014.
PUBLISHED by VIKINGLIGHTNINGCURSE MUSIC (BMI).

 

Reviews for Drone Maintenance...

Lonesome Noise

There are still new species being discovered even as you read this.  Hidden on jungle floors, resting on the bottom of river beds, frozen in the world’s tundras lie things that humanity has yet to uncover.  This near constant influx of Holocene flora and fauna not only keeps things interesting but is a reminder from Mother Nature that we don’t know everything yet and we probably never will.  It’s a slap to our entitled senses.  Music, so in tune with the Great Mother, has a similar affect but on a more personal level.  Music has a habit of upsetting the apple cart of an entire phylum or genus of musical genres we have personally categorized in our heads.  What to do when an artist doesn’t fit into one of those boxes of index cards we keep filed away in our dusty, little minds?  Pay it the proper homage.

Blackwolfgoat is the one-man jam of Darryl Shepard, a musician who is used to slaying giant beasts while wielding the axe for such stoner rock/doom metal powerhouses as Black Pyramid and The Scimitar, among others.  Blackwolfgoat can only be described as his musical alter-ego.  Delineated by multiple sources as “progressive drone” the music on third full-length, Drone Maintenance, is virtually indescribable in the best way possible.  It’s also set up as a pseudo-concept record about…well, drone maintenance.  If this album is any indication the future drone maintenance people of planet Earth are going to live a very esoteric existence.

It would be interesting to ask Shepard if he views himself as a musician or a guitar player first and foremost.  The guitar (both electric, and on this album, acoustic varieties) is the focal point.  It’s the fulcrum by which the pendulum constantly swings.  But this isn’t just some guys noodling around for an hour and calling it an album.  Shepard is also a composer.  Each composition relaying the story, almost completely sans lyrical content.  When there is sunlight the music reflects as such.  When there is a foreboding sense of impending doom, the music speaks it in multiple tongues.  It’s as if Shepard himself is speaking through his instrument in similar fashion to how ancient cultures spoke through dance and song around wild bonfires.  The story itself may be drastically different but the methodology is handed down through time and space to this moment.

The album begins with one of three tracks that include a spoken word passage of a drone maintainer relaying his findings and work.  There is some eeriness to this track, but it’s followed by the downright upbeat “Notausgang” which sounds like a solo ripped from The Cult canon.  But the mood quickly turns with the track “Sunfall” as a somber opening riff is complemented by even more melancholic guitar work.  This may be the turning point in Shepard’s story.  While future tracks like “Fahey” and “Axxtrokk” will offer glimpses of hope, the dye has obviously been cast.  This also happens to be where Blackwolfgoat are at their most intriguing and beguiling.  The more misgiving the sounds the more hypnotizing this album becomes.  It’s a dark enchantress, lush with vivid sonic landscapes.  All platitudes of the drone genre are washed away like a snake shedding it’s skin.  By the time we reach the third and final spoken word passage the message is one of imminent destruction and we are left there as if we are hearing missives  lost in some sort of post-apocalyptic city, never reaching their intended target.  The album concludes with “Cyclopean Utopia” which is not only the heaviest track on the album, but arguably the best as well.  It’s a downright frightening experience at times as doom metal riffs are cut by anguished screams.  This story clearly does not have a happy ending.

Blackwolfgoat is a project that will, at times, challenge a lot of people to reexamine their cloistered definition of “music” and yet simultaneously and ably give them the tools to do so.  Drone Maintenance is out via Small Stone Recordings on August 26.  You can experience the aforementioned track, “Cyclopean Utopia” over at the Small Stone Bandcamp page.

- Chip McCabe


August 13th, 2014
lonesomenoise.com/2014/08/13/lonesome-review-blackwolfgoat-drone-maintenance/

DarkUndergroundMusicZine

Blackwolfgoat  are  a  band  from  Massachusetts  that  plays  a  mixture  of ambient,  drone  and  doom  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Drone  Maintenance  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Small  Stone.

Dark  and  distorted  sounding  drones start  off  the  album  with  some  spoken  word  parts  and  after  the  intro  programmed  beats,  melodic  guitar  leads  and  powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  are  added  into  the  music  and  the  following  track  sees  the  band  adding  in  more  clean  guitar  playing  and  there  is  a  great  amount  of  diversity  presented  throughout  the  recording.

On  the  4th  track  the  band  go  more  into  an  acoustic  folk  direction  before  returning  back  to  a  drone  direction  on  the  following  track  and  bringing  back  the  spoken  word  parts  that  where  present  on  the  first  song  which  leads  up  to  a  more  experimental  rock  direction  on  the  following  song  and  it  kicks  completely  into  that  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  some  high  pitched  screams  that  are  very  close  to  black  metal.

Song  number  seven  starts  out  with  distorted  yet  melodic  guitar  leads  and  background  noises  while  the  following  song  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length  as  well  as  seeing  the  band  return  back  to  the  more  acoustical  direction  and  the  following  track  is  a  minute  long  and  shows  the  band  adding  in  a  more  drone  and  heavy  doom  sound  which  also  continues  on  the  last  track.

Blackwolfgoat  creates  an  album  that  is  very  hard  to  classify  with  the  music  combining  ambient,  drone,  experimental  and  a  small  dose  of  doom  metal  to  create  the  sound  that  is  present  on  the  recording,  the production  sound s very  professional  while  the  song  themes  cover  utopia.

In  my  opinion  Blackwolfgoat  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  ambient,  drone,  progressive,  experimental  and  doom  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Sunfall"  "Night  heat"  "White  Hole"  and  "Cyclopean  Utopia".  8  out  of  10.

-  OccultBlackMetal


July 29th, 2014
hatredmeanswarzine.blogspot.com/2014/07/blackwolfgoatdrone-maintenancesmall.html

Osprey

The power of subtlety: in its stillness, subtlety resonates profoundly— it speaks volumes in what is not said, in the space between every act or movement.

Such pocketed power can be experienced on Drone Maintenance, the third release from Darryl Shepard’s solo project Blackwolfgoat, where breezy guitar work, appropriately placed loops, and an introspective mood renders the record a subtly profound and refreshing foray into quiet contemplation.

On Drone, Shepard’s brilliant, breathy guitar work creates the record’s organic, open atmosphere. Engineered and mixed by Glenn Smith of Amps Vs. Ohms Studios in Cambridge, MA, the record is a “quasi-concept” album, where in Shepard is seen as a drone repair man who fixes rogues.

Appropriate, then, is the Drone‘s largely voice-less sonic sphere: listeners experience the inner monologue of one who dutifully toils, with intermittent mood shifts. Looped dissonance adds rough edges, and dewy, acoustic guitar riffs add feeling and precipitation.

Drone Maintenance could be considered whittled down Doom, where sludge is abandoned in favor of a minimalism that still manages to paint heavy hues. At its core, however, Drones is lit warmly by Shepard’s careful consideration of where-to-put-what in each song, as he skirts prominent percussion, any obvious bass or bottom end, and instead focuses solely on showcasing delicate yet finely wrought guitar work.

As a result, Drone Maintenance is a record that’s best experienced, as its subtle colors quietly influence the space in which it is played. The record doesn’t scream its significance, yet it does impress—it certainly impressed me.

- Lindsay O'Connor


August 16th, 2014
ospreymusicmag.com/2014/08/blackwolfgoat-drone-maintenance/

Wonderbox Metal

This is the third album from Blackwolfgoat who hail from the US.

This is Progressive Doom/Drone. I have enjoyed the previous Blackwolfgoat release Dronolith, and Drone Maintenance continues the core sound only with more variety than previously. Everything is still focused around the electric guitar but now there are added sounds and instruments, including acoustics, percussion and even the odd vocal.

Drone Maintenance is an enjoyably diverse release that comes off almost like one of the more commercial Electronica/Techno releases in the feel of the tracks, how they are made up, what they consist of and the diversity of delivery and expression – the only caveat to this of course is instead of this being delivered in an Electronica/Techno style it’s delivered in a Doom/Drone style. This impression is further increased by the various interludes and samples, etc. that are included on the album. The point is that this is an accomplished release that covers many bases and moods in the 37 minutes playing time.

The semi-concept of the album, (summed up essentially by the title and the lovely artwork), is also a pleasing one.

The musical journey that Drone Maintenance takes the listener on is one of subtle highlights and carefully crafted nuance. Sadly, this album is never going to have a huge audience and will probably be dismissed by the average music fan. This is a huge shame as it’s relatively easy listening and is orders of magnitude better than most of the nonsense that passes as popular music these days.

Blackwolfgoat has a massive amount of potential, most of which will go unrealised in the wider musical scene. Make sure that you don’t miss out though; get listening to this now.


August 17th, 2014
wonderboxmetal.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/blackwolfgoat-drone-maintenance-review/

Album Tracks

  1. 1-BWG889
  2. Notausgang
  3. Sunfall
  4. Fahey
  5. 3-BWG565
  6. Axxtrokk
  7. Night Heat
  8. White Hole
  9. 1-BWG006
  10. Cyclopean Utopia

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