Goya’s Kathmandu is an interesting album. There are only four tracks, one being 13 minutes, but this album was designed to be a statement. Kathmandu, like its current debuting contemporaries, plays with the borderlines of sub genres and creates a new and distinct coalescence. It is difficult to pin down a subgenre name for Kathmandu. It is meant to be a personality statement, an aural brand, and it succeeds at the attempt. Kathmandu is rhythm oriented, and entirely instrumental; it uses its natural rhythmic bluster to define the mood of the songs, preferring not to rely on loading the songs with presumptive meaning through lyricism.
During the course of Kathmandu, each artist infuses each song with their own distinct personality and flavour, and yet they coalesce and mingle together in perfect, agreeable harmony. Collider brings in a particular charisma with its bass, which weaves in and out of the main rhythm. It’s a great opener to this E.P. and definitely attention grabbing.
The longest song, Venanatus, is a 13 minute pseudo-classical movement that shifts through the sensibilities of the classical nocturne, to a plodding doomish bombast that clearly recalls Sabbath but maintains its own distinction. Again, it is hard to grab on to any one single idea and make a platitude about the nature of the genre. Goya’s debut performance is a truly progressive element. The boundaries are elastic here. As humans, and consumers, we want to be consistent and find clean and crisp borders and categories to dwell within and define. The contemporary shift in metal, however, is making it hard to do that. Goya is well within their element here among their contemporaries for sure.
There are recognisable elements to Kathmandu. Ashoka draws on the inspiration of post-rock’s dreamy melodies and timing, and elevates them into a crunchy metal jam. Kathmandu, the album’s outro carries this dreamy line through its opening and slips into an extremely physically inspiring drum chug laid alongside a 6/4 groove which is an interesting and suitable outro to this E.P.
It’s clear we are seeing a shift in what a subgenre within metal can be defined as, especially with younger blood coming in who have many more choices of subgenre to be influenced by and choose from when writing music than their forebears have. The forebears have paved the way for the impending categorical confusion and redefinition of genre and subgenre. Goya’s Statement is a clear example of this.
8th December 2017