27 May 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 )
 

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