Demo – Goya

Demo

Goya

2012

Unsigned

Locals from Phoenix, Arizona, Goya have put out their first release just recently: a five-track collection of Doom and Stoner Metal demos.  The trio — consisting of Jeff Owens on guitar and vocals, Jirix-Mie Paz on bass, and Shane Taylor on drums — really sound top-drawer musically on the album.  They sound determined to play the hell out of their chosen genre, working in crushing moods, aggressive vocals, and Sabbathesque riffs into every song.

As I mentioned, Goya does have a great sound to their music, helped by the fact that they seem to genuinely work well as a band.  Being tight as a band doesn’t come easily, but these five songs prove Goya has that ability already in their early career.  The  collection opens with “God Lie,” and right away, the listener can tell how well versed the band is in each other.  Paz’s bass carries the track, starting it off with a slow line, and the drums and guitar come in softly as well.  Goya opens the song up after a quick pause, followed by a heavy guitar riff — really, these guys are like vultures feeding off of each other sonically.

The hypnotic sound of Doom infiltrates every layer of Goya’s release, with pretty damn good results.  Taylor’s drums push the songs forward, specifically the instrumental “Opoponax,” without sounding overbearing.  Sometimes all that’s needed in Goya’s songs are for the drums to change to get a reaction.  Jeff Owens guitar work is done quite well; he uses feedback but doesn’t overdo it like many other Stoner bands, and his bruising riffs are transfixing.  His vocals also fit nicely into the music.  He’s got an aggressive voice that can do a lot with clean singing instead of ever having to growl or scream.  His contribution to the closer “Night Creeps” gives an ominous vibe off.  And then, Jirix-Mie Paz really holds every song together with the bass playing, powerful and sinister.

Can you tell they’re Stoner Metal?

Unfortunately, the band is still young and inexperienced, and on these demos, the listener can somewhat tell.  Imprisoned by their genre, the most Goya does within these five songs is to play some really good Doom.  I know, that doesn’t sound too bad, and it’s not.  These guys can play, but there can be some hangups.  The tracks don’t feature much in the terms of peaks and valleys, as there are no quiet moments once the band gets full swing.  They never quite seem to pull back, which is necessary for the tracks to stand out.  The songs rock, and definitely call for molasses-paced head-banging, but every now and then the songs should have a chance to breathe.   Goya also seem somewhat reluctant to honestly burst within their songs.  Owens’ vocals are distorted, masking the lyrics and his obviously strong voice.  Meanwhile, his solos in the song don’t do as much as they could; they’re buried in the mix, muddled in the noise.  Take “Mourning Sun” for example — the solo sounds just like a placeholder, instead of something to elevate the song to another level.  However, these are just demos, released just a few months after Goya was formed.  It is evident that Goya is full of talent, and although these tracks have some faults, the musicianship is, in actual fact, admirable.

This collection of five songs is well-worth a listen (at least one listen, however I’d suggest way more).  Goya knows how to play Doom well, and I’d love to hear what they do in the future.  Sure, these tracks may be slightly underdeveloped, but with time, patience, and experience, Goya has the potential to make Stoner Metal work for them.  Definitely a deserved benefit to the genre.

You can listen to (and order!) their release at Goya’s Bandcamp page — and I highly suggest you do.

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