Review Summary: Impressive songwriting, copious technical skill, and a unique sound mark Golgatha as an act to watch out for.
When I said that Golgatha were a band with copious potential three years ago in my review of their debut EP, Strength of the World
, I meant it. They displayed a formidable combination of technical ability, passion, and sweet, sweet riffs that, despite some problems with inventiveness and production, could grow into something really incredible in a few years' time. Now, Somnium Attacca
- their third EP - is not the release that completely takes them to the next level: rather, it's a smaller, necessary step on the road to greatness that these guys are on. The improvements here aren't in leaps and bounds, but they are obvious. For one thing, rather than the somewhat haphazard combination of thrash and melodeath that they pulled off in the beginning, Golgatha seem to be far more secure in something that's really their own here. Occasional harsh vocals remain, but Somnium Attacca
is far more focused than their previous releases: a masterful blend of thrash metal with heavy progressive metal influences and soaring, operatic vocals makes for something more cohesive and more interesting than anything they've done before.
However, this settling into their own skin that Golgatha seem to have found on their third release, while a major strength, isn't actually the most defining feature of Somnium Attacca
. The single biggest improvement here is the songwriting: while it isn't perfect - opener 'Fata Morgana' feels somewhat scattershot in comparison to the EP's other five tracks - it really is leaps and bounds ahead of anything on their previous two EPs. 'Modes,' an almost ballad-esque number, feels like something written by a far older and more mature band, and 'The Fall of Goliath,' while it isn't the longest track on the album (that honor goes to 'Tourniquet,' another highlight), is, without a doubt, the most dynamic, catchiest, and most progressive song Golgatha have ever written.
isn't without its weaknesses. A couple songs here are somewhat disjointed, belying the massive steps forward in songwriting ability they've taken here. The production could be improved: they're a little-known, young band, so this is to be expected, but steps like having the vocals slightly lower in the mix would benefit them significantly. This is a catch 22 of sorts, as their vocals are far more confident and consistent than they've ever been, but given the significant technical skill on display here - not to mention some truly glorious riffs - their next release could stand for a bit more focus on the instrumental side of things. However, this all being said, Somnium Attacca
is a release that improves in every way on their already-solid previous work, and reinforces Golgatha's status as a band to watch out for.