Album Review: Goddess Gagged – Resurfaces
Band: Goddess Gagged (India)
Album: Resurfaces (2011)
Genre: Progressive Rock / Metal
Up for some more gentle stuff, anyone? Well you should be, because when I start throwing around gentle stuff it’s always of exceptional quality. In this case it’s not even that gentle, but in terms of quality it’s way up there with the champs. Goddess Gagged sports a rare mixture of all kinds of flavors of Rock and Metal, yielding something truly unique.
That’s not completely what I expected when I covered the band in our Rockin’ Out With series. We covered a song titled Sink or Swim in that, and needless to say that was primarily Rocky. But breathing in the full seven-song release now I get all the other elements thrown at me. Resurfaces is the Bombay-based outfit’s debut record and it’s a must-hear.
Listing the influences and ingredients of Resurfaces, one will find Prog Rock type of stuff, especially of the later wave, released by bands such as Porcupine Tree, Katatonia’s (latest work) Karnivool and Opeth recently. There’s also a thick greasy layer of Djent / Progressive Metal, releasing those chugging, deep, low guitar riffs into your ears. That’s all still very accessible, but in between that generally cleanly-sung basis there’ll be well-dosed, well-balanced and well-placed audio assaults of proper Death Metal, with low grunts and open screams and plenty of aggressive riffage.
The result is an album of tremendous contrast. The gentle parts will be very gentle and much of it is purely instrumental, with sweetly played melodies and leads, mostly without any distortion whatsoever. But the bad brute with hooky riffs always lurks around the corner. Mostly he’ll be just grumpy and bark a bit when you get too close, but there are more than a few occasions in which he’ll lose his temper completely and bite your face off. When that happens, grunts with a depth and sound comparable to Threat Signal’s Jon Howard will come at you. Or more Metalcore-like screams, like in the album’s opening track Modern Machines.
We would have loved to serve you something we haven’t served you before, but unfortunately the only song off the album we could find online is the one we’ve served you before already; Sink or Swim. Does that really matter? Well, I fuckin’ hope not! Sink or Swim is one of the most original and breakthrough songs I’ve heard all year and when it first got into my ears I drooled for over a week. And that’s despite – or perhaps because? – there being no growls or chunky moments until the very end, when it’s employed to serve a grand finale. Soak it in with the volume settings on instant death. It’s better for you.
Resurfaces is factually completely outside of what I would normally listen to. Much too fuckin’ soft. Pussy music. For queers. But you know that’s all bullshit. Goddess Gagged have nothing to do, not even remotely, with making music because it’s loud or tough. They’re making music that’s intrinsically of the highest value, because of each and every single note being played making perfect sense. When they go loud, they do it because the moment asks for it. When they spray you with sweet, soft, sexy notes, that’s because you need it.
That fact makes that Resurfaces is an album that you need to be in the mood for. A mood in which you’re A) calm and relaxed, as opposed to hyped-up and on the brink of punching someone out, and B) capable of really paying attention to what you’re listening to. Not that this won’t go down well as easy listening, but quite frankly, that would just be a fuckin’ waste of good music! So if needed, get a yoga class, then turn this shit on!
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you’ve got a patient and conscious listening style
- you can do with a limited supply of grunts
- you don’t mind that this is only 40 minutes long (yes, we can be critical about this album too!)