Special Feature: Cover Black Sabbath's "Who Are You?".
- The Enemy
- Light years
- The Enemy (Extended Take)
- Fuck Song (The Unendurable Agony of Existence in the Face of Humankind)
- Who Are You?
Release Date: October 8, 2016
Label: STB Records
Arizona stoner doom trio Goya have proven not only to be quite prolific in their relatively short existence, but they are also establishing themselves as one of the most engaging acts currently operating in the doom scene. 2015 was a particularly industrious year marked by a split with Seattle’s Wounded Giant and their unforgettably heavy and expansive sophomore full-length, Obelisk. That surge of productivity seems to have bled into the current year with the Satan’s Fire 7”—most notable for its killer Iron Maiden cover of “Wrathchild”—released through guitarist/vocalist Jeff Owens’ own Opoponax Records imprint, and now with their latest EP, The Enemy. More impressive than the band’s output is the quality of the tunes. Every release from Goya is bombproof, and The Enemy is no different. As a whole, The Enemy is probably the band’s most melodic effort—trading in the grim, dopesmoke atmospherics that were pervasive on the Satan’s Fire EP and much ofObelisk in favor of an incrementally more “upbeat” approach. The band surely has not sacrificed heft, but the barely perceptible shift in sound is a huge draw and illustrates why Goya are among the best in the game.
With two versions of the title track, “The Enemy” stands out as the EP’s centerpiece. Both takes include a muted, laid-back psychedelic section that serves as either an outro or, in the case of the extended take, an interlude prior to a prolonged excursion into heavy yet emotive jamming. While Owens’ tone is as grimy and distorted as ever, the tune, musically, is marginally brighter than anything the band has previously released. Despite the buoyant groove, Owens’ lyrics remain rooted in apathy, nihilism, horror, paranoia, and death in equal measure throughout the EP.
If “The Enemy” serves as the EP’s centerpiece, then “Last” is undeniably the hidden gem lurking in the periphery due in large part to the simple, melodic intro courtesy of Owens and drummer Nick Lose. It’s one of the rare moments in Goya’s discography that could be categorized as simply “beautiful.” In addition to the track’s stunning intro, “Last” keeps listeners engaged with a two-pronged assault of hooks in the form of Owen’s melodious leads and simple yet well-placed background vocals. Of the three distinct tracks, “Light Years” probably yields the most sinister vibe. Here, the true standout can be attributed to the pulsating, fluid bass-lines of Ben Clarkson. It’s the bass groove that keeps this song afloat, allowing Owens to weave his fantastical tales of arcane knowledge and madness.
The Enemy is another triumph at the hands of Goya. The band has continued its streak of matching, if not Surpassing their accomplishments with each successive release. The Enemy also finds the band at their most melodic—a minor shift—that stylistically finds the band trading in the depraved, feedback-strewn psychedelia that was predominant on the Satan’s Fire EP and, to a lesser extent, Obelisk, in favor of a more straightforward stoner groove. - Steven Miller (HeathenHarvest.com May 1, 2016)