Golgot’s demo seemingly came from nowhere, but after doing our research, it made perfect sense that we here at Demo:listen immediately fell in love with Estrangement I: Floodline, Golgot’s four song demo tape. As it turns out, Golgot’s guitarist/vocalist Wieland is a D:L alumni, while drummer Brungard was the brains behind the supreme and inimitable Howls Of Ebb.
According to Wieland, the idea behind Golgot was “to take extreme music back a couple of developmental steps and at the same time add a slight accidental avant-garde vibe.”
Which is exactly how Golgot’s demo sounds. Like an old demo that wasn’t ahead of its time so much as too weird for its time. Too weird for all time.
On Estrangement I: Floodline, the international duo alternate, and usually abruptly, between crushing pendulous doom and predatory primitive black metal. The off-kilter atmosphere arises naturally, from the way the demo was recorded. See, with Wieland located in Germany, and Brungard in Texas, Golgot is by no means a band in the traditional sense. They’re never in the same room together even.
Wieland explains how the Golgot demo came together then: “After I had written and recorded the guitar and bass during two weekends in late 2018 I went on writing some lyric drafts. Then I was stuck in the drum-dilemma since I cannot play and record drums. For the time being I decided to program the drums for demo purposes but rather not with the intention to fake a human drummer. I incorporated very simple industrial-style drums that were obviously done with the machine. I drew inspiration from Fulgor’s amazing Eyequinox EP. I showed the resulting instrumental tracks to my friend Brungard who happens to be a drummer himself. He offered to re-record the drum parts in his studio. I was glad. He was not though, because I did not use any click track on the guitar and bass recordings. So he had to learn to cope with my inconsistencies and memorized all my mistakes. Since he had other recordings pending at that time I had to learn to be patient. I received the final drum stems in April 2019 or so and then finalized lyrics and recorded vocals at my other band’s rehearsal space. Then I did the final sound sculpting and mixing at home. I roughly knew what the outcome should sound like since guitar and bass tracks were carved in stone from day one. However, Brungard’s drumming really lifted the entire feel of the record into much more lively spheres.”
According to Wieland, Golgot’s first demo “tells a story which can be roughly summarized as follows: ‘Elusive Obelisk’ is about a society ruthlessly obeying their man-made, larger-than-life symbol as a replacement for a divine entity. ‘Carrion (My Leprous Son)’ deals with their submissive sacrificial cult. Even sickness and decay are perceived as godly gifts. ‘Floodline’ is about the reward their god has for them: He is disgusted with their self-denial and sends them a flood to have them all drown. Finally, ‘Flesh Adoption’ is sort of a first-person account of a survivor of the flood. Somewhere in their catacombs people now start sacrificing their next of kin as a remedy. Things turn out even more obsessive and selfish than ever before. They haven’t learned a thing…”
The cover art for the Golgot demo is evocative and seems instantly iconic. Wieland explains that the idea behind the “clawed serpent” is to represent “the duality that does not draw on clearly distinctive contrasts of categories. It is rather about a conflictual state between the seeming and the real, or the inside and the outside, where both entities are transformed into one pseudo-homogeneous state. It sort of refers to the misconceptions of our mind regarding self-perception and external perception. This claw-serpent won’t likely be going to bite its own tail. This thing is just you and me – ugly and imperfect.”
For now, copies of Golgot demo tape remain available on their Bandcamp page. According to Wieland, “One problem with cassettes is indifference due to the conditions of the recording and playback systems. Any tape will sound shitty on a dusty, misaligned deck while those same tapes would potentially sound great on a maintained system. I got myself a cleaned, gutted and re-assembled deck in best condition to produce that demo. The deck is chained to my computer in a way that I can monitor it as a last device in my mastering chain. To me the result just sounds pretty good. I have read everything I could find about mastering for Type I cassette and I mixed and mastered the music with these final specs in mind. I wanted to ensure that this one is going to be among the better sounding tapes of my own collection . . . I think we are selling the tapes at a fair price, the primary intention being to cover costs. They are self-made and should therefore cost less than factory-made pro tapes. People would be suspicious if they cost as much as a cassette put out by a label. Yes, some copies already shipped to the States, too.”
As for what comes next for Golgot, Wieland says simply: “Estrangement II needs to be written.”