28 Nov 2022
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Scapegoat - Single Review: The Dead of Night

16 Mar 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

Rene Black is best known as being the man behind the kit for Cripple Mr Onion and His Masters Voice, and these days can be found in premier NZ Sabbath tribute band After Forever, but anyone expecting a similar bombastic approach to the debut single from his solo project Scapegoat is in for quite a surprise. The Dead of Night commences with a pre-war ballad, even down to the crackly vinyl, before it is replaced by a simple repeated motif on acoustic guitar. It is slow, delicate, atmospheric and when combined with his dark vocals it's incredibly emotional. The cry of a wolf is perfectly in keeping with the feelings being embodied by the sound, as we are taken into the wilderness, abandoned in the dark with little in the way of solace or warmth.

The song is a fraction over three minutes in length but is one which creates a spell with its simplicity and pace, so much so that when the final notes drift away one feels almost bereft, having to wake from a different state. It is almost as if Alabama 3 and Black Sabbath have combined to create an acoustic deathly gothic doom-laden number and is certainly not what I have expected from a man who has made a career bashing a kit behind some of the heaviest bands around. Rene states that while this may be a sweet introduction, the forthcoming album, Reality and the Hanging Tree, features a multitude of experimental musical styles which blends together aspects of Blues, industrial, hip hop, dark acoustic ballads and spoken word poetry, alongside a soundscape of vintage movie samples.

Given the depth and power being created by just his voice and a simple acoustic I know that is a release I am definitely looking forward to, but until then I highly recommend seeking this out and giving it a listen, you won’t regret it.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Scapegoat

Rene Black's first solo offering comes under the guise of Scapegoat with an album entitled Reality and The Hanging Tree. Recorded over a two year period alongside friend and producer Nicky Smirk at Ghostlike Studios in East Auckland.

Formally known as the hard hitting drummer and founding member of blues rock legends His Masters Voice and long running prog metal mainstays Cripple Mr. Onion. Rene Black showcases his darkly experimental and often times stripped back musical approach, stepping out of his comfort zone, picking up the guitar for the first time and removing himself from the confinements of any particular genre.

Scapegoat often times resonates a cinematic musical approach, amidst a psychedelic haze of vintage movie samples. Melding dark, melancholic, acoustic songs of love, loss and despair with intelligently sampled atmospheric beats. Blended with a a strange array of eerie instrumentation leading the listener through. a dream-like soundscape of expression over perfection.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Scapegoat

Releases

Reality and The Hanging Tree
Year: 2022
Type: Album

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