Cokegoat – Drugs and Animals

Cokegoat first caught my ear over three years ago with their debut album Vessel. This Chicago sextet (three guitars, one keyboard) brings the sludge, brings the doom and a bit of black metal, too. And could there possibly be a better, more fitting album title?

Sophomore effort Drugs and Animals starts off with some unassuming clean guitar, but it’s not long before “Quiet Tyrant” makes its presence felt with some mid-paced, blackened brutality. Rwake might be a good reference point here—there’s even traces of Neurosis, particularly on the slower, airier passages. “The Burner” opens with a keyboard-accented flourish, but it’s more of a straight-forward chugger a la High on Fire. Even the vocals kinda sound like Pike. “Winter of Fear” has a bone-chilling doom intro, then moves into a mellower initial verse, trading heavy riffs with some softer sounds—the raw-leather vocals mix less effectively with the latter. But overall, it’s a pretty solid sonic brew, getting heavier as it goes along.

Cokegoat piles on the doom and gloom for a few more tunes, culminating in eight-minute epic “Kreator/Destroyer.” This one takes a little while to get up to speed, going from an effects-laden intro to a sparse sludgy stomp before all the instruments go quiet except for one guitar. This sets the tone for a gloomy, eerie, atmospheric slice of post-sludge that kinda reminds me of ISIS. Not a bad note to leave us on…

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for