Hailing from Clarence, NY and Meadville, PA, Goblin Hovel is an incredibly diverse and intricately layered folk metal project. Hellbent on giving their audience a remarkably memorable experience, while admirably doing their genre justice, their latest musical effort, Revered Revenant of Irreverence (released last month) is no exception. From start to finish, this 7 track album enraptures listeners with a variety of sounds, spawned from a variety of influences. From classical music, to acoustic rock, to black metal, to heavy metal, there’s a little something for everyone on this release. However, keep the acoustic rock part of my description foremost in mind. If you’re unfamiliar with this band or release, it’d be criminal of me not to inform you that this is one of those albums that commands authority with very little (if any) distorted guitar. And while there are plenty of beautifully harmonized clean vocal melodies to compliment the music, you should also prepare yourself for demonic harsh vocals of the black metal style, performed in a mid to higher register with dark reverb.
A creepy carnival styled instrumental intro called “Bonefyre” starts the album off, concluding with a sinister laugh, bridging the first two tracks. Then,”The Menace” (track 2) does a wonderful job preparing the listener for exactly what they are in for: a brilliant array of vocals and instruments, including bass guitar, regular rock drums (and various other percussion instruments), banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, whistles, viola, piano, acoustic guitars and lightly sprinkled distorted guitars (mostly used for accents).
My personal favorite on RROI is the 3rd track, “Pride in Grey Eyes” for its masterfully layered guitars, classical instrumentation and multiple clean vocal tracks throughout the majority of the track. It’s a great multidimensional piece all around.
Upon my post-listen reflection, there isn’t a whole lot more I can say about this album, except that you have to hear it to believe it. It’s just one of those musical efforts that is truly in a genre of its own and should be treated as such. Go in with a completely open mind and a love for more than just the brutally heavy and you should (at the very least) be impressed by the musicianship involved with these 7 songs. And for those of you who are avid listeners/fans of folk metal, don’t sleep on Revered Revenant of Irreverence a moment longer. This is what you’ve all been missing.
Goblin Hovel are:
Goblin (Derek Schultz): all instruments/vocals (studio) guitar/vocals (live)
Dan Barbour- Vocals
Jason Roman- Bass
Britt Wagner- Drums/Percussion
Peter House- Banjo/Mandolin
Dillon Ethier- Bass/Melodica
Rob Pollard- Bouzouki/Vocals/Whistles
Michelle Bouffard – Vocals/Viola/Piano
Tom Gerwitz – Recording, engineering, backing vocals.
Here’s a link to their Bandcamp page, where you can stream the album. Below, is my top track. Listen and enjoy!