‘Et Lokalsamfunn i Sorg’, Goat the Head’ fourth album out now

Photo: Per Spjøtvold

The metal band Goat the Head is releasing today their fourth album ‘Et Lokalsamfunn i Sorg’ via Crispin Glover Records! This time the band offers you a concept album with dark doom metal sound and no less dark story that takes you to the rural parts of central Norway in the early nineties – “A young person is searching for identity and purpose in a cautious and caustic community when tragedy unexpectedly strikes.”

Listen to it on streaming services or get your copy on vinyl! And the vinyl edition for this record is more than unique – vocalist Per Spjøtvold has hand drawn 500 (!) characters, one for each individual album copy. Each character represents an inhabitant of the fictional community

Read the interview with Per Spjøtvold of Goat the Head about the new album, the band’s 20th anniversary and Norwegian gigs this spring 

You went for a darker sound on this album. Was it due to the concept of this particular album or do you intend to work in this style in the future as well?

It was a conscious choice to make a “doom metal” album this time. Not only did this fit with the conceptual nature of the album, but it was also something we wanted to explore more thoroughly after dabbling with the trappings of doom on our previous album. It might actually be a sub-genre where some of the band member’s musical expressions make more sense. Whether this style will prevail in the future I cannot know. Statistically, we ruffle everything up with each album, so I wouldn’t count on it.

The album’ story takes us to the rural part of central Norway, all lyrics are in Norwegian – what caused this, we can say, homecoming?

I have wanted to do this album for decades, the conceptual idea and album title is something I have enthusiastically annoyed people with since the early 2000’s. Now the time was finally here. I suppose writing about what you know is always best for authenticity. I think I know more about growing up in rural mid-Norway than I know about neanderthal anthropology, astrophysics or Greek mythology. So, lyrically, this is maybe our most “authentic” album yet! This time I am particularly excited to use the trønder dialect, and by that effect automatically be a part of the great “trønder-rock” legacy.

Is the whole concept “A local community in grief “ just a fable or did you imply a kind of allegory behind it?

Part fable, part fever dream. The storyline can be evasive at times, it’s more like a stream of consciousness, perhaps. A cluster of memories from my youth, some unpleasant characters, some drama and despair. The idea is that an unspecified tragedy strikes between side A and side B. On side A we take part in a disturbing buildup, while on side B we go through the collective stages of grief within the fictitious community. I haven’t really intended for a big statement or allegory. 

About the vinyl edition… You have drawn five hundred characters, one for each individual album copy. How did you come up with this idea? And how exciting was the process of its implementation?

One theme for the album is individualism, and I wanted each listener (of the vinyl album at least) to have an individual one-on-one connection to the narrative in some way. And both me and Torgeir at Crispin Glover Records like to go the extra mile when it comes to vinyl packaging. Maybe it’s just a sly marketing scheme, an incentive to actually buy a physical album. As if the music wasn’t incentive enough, haha! The drawing process was lengthy and overwhelming at times, but I experienced the whole range from exhilarated to bored as I drew the 500+ pieces.. 

Goat the Head had their 20th anniversary last year. What thoughts and probably memories did this awaken?

The activity level during these twenty years hasn’t exactly been constant. But it’s crazy nevertheless that the band has endured over the years, given it was born out of an intoxicated whim back in the day. There has definitely been a fair share of extraordinary adventures along the way. A lot of odd decisions. Laughter, frustration and companionship!  And dare I say some memorable metal tunes, too!

And of course, a question that undoubtedly interests many – when will the band play live again?

It is quite challenging to make that happen, and for me that can be somewhat disheartening as I think that it’s on stage that the band truly shines. Right now however, it looks like there might be a couple of Norwegian gigs at the end of May 2023. I’m crossing my fingers.

Goat the Head:
Per Spjøtvold – vocals/organ
Ketil L. Sæther – guitar
Kenneth Kapstad – drums
Trond Frønes – bass

Design and artwork: Per Spjøtvold