I’ve got a couple of weeks off work and I’m child-free so what better way to spend the time than grabbing some random albums from the slush pile and giving them the once over? That’s how I got round to listening to Spanish doom merchants Golgotha’s latest release Erasing the Past. And I’m glad I did.
The opening song, “The Way To Your Soul” had me grabbed right from the off. Try and tell me these guys don’t owe a lot to Paradise Lost and I’ll know I’m talking to someone who’s never heard a PL record in their lives. This stuff reeks of Halifax’s own’s classic material right down to the vocal styles (though some of the cleaner vocals sound a bit more like Rammstein’s for some reason), but is this a bad thing?
With almost eight minutes of slow, heavy headbanging as their opening salvo how does the rest of the album match up? Damn well. Though I do think they kicked off with one of the strongest tracks, there’s nothing wrong with what follows. “Distorted Tears” makes me think more of Sisters of Mercy with added evil, and if “Enveloped in Fog” was any slower it would play backwards all by itself.
Golgotha are a tight threesome, and what really sells this album is how well the three gel together (OK, four if you include M. Angel Riutort who did bass and keys for the album recording). The guitars are downtuned and crunchy, the bass gets your head going and the drums are perfection itself. Many drummers fall into the ‘I have to fill this space with something’ trap, whereas Tomeu Crespí has nailed it. The very occasional increase in pace to get the hairs on your neck rising, but the rest of the time – slow and bloody heavy.
There are harmonies, there are eerie atmospheres, there are epics (two of them)… Honestly, I couldn’t have been happier that I plucked this one from our pile for a listen. Downside: it does sound a bit too much like its better known influences. Upside: it sounds a lot like its better known influences. The more I listen, the more I hear Golgotha themselves pushing through, though. This makes the album very easy to get to grips with, and then appreciate it further with each play.
It has to be said, but if you like Paradise Lost (and their ilk) then I’d say this is well worth grabbing.
Erasing the Past is out now (available from Amazon [sponsored link] and elsewhere)