A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Black Goat Of The Woods is a 35 minute peramble of rustic dark ambiance from Belfast-based musician JR Moore, who plies creepy drones under the name Black Mountain Transmitter. It is based on the Lovecraftian lore of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat with a Thousand Young, and conceived as a “the soundtrack from some lost low budget horror movie, rediscovered on an old and faded VHS cassette found mouldering in a deserted house in the depths of the woods.”
Black Goat Of The Woods is comprised of sustained organ drones, nameless field recordings, static and rumble – which are then bent and skewed in a most unwholesome fashion. It’s hard to know exactly what the hell is going on, as familiar sound shapes warp like melting candle wax, in the most beautifully disorienting fashion. Wood creaks like tender saplings, as deep bass tones shiver like shadows on a full moon night. The overall sensation is of coming across some eldritch clearing in the forest, with bioluminescent fungus spewing sickly, wan light and terror-inducing spores into the night, while owls and ghostly loons cry out in the distance.
This is true musick for the dark arts, a soundtrack for forgetting civilization, and letting yr darkest dreams and desires manifest. This is only to be feared, if you fear yrself – yr own dark places. For creatures of the night, there is a comfort to be found in this solitude, in this freedom.
Some comments on bandcamp speak loudly to the awesome, terrible joys waiting for the fearless:
Heavy, creepy, droney and positively reeking of sacrificed virgins, 70’s horror movies and quaffing blood from ornate goblets, this is fine stuff. – Sean Thomas
Terrifying… Simply terrifying… – Barry Jones
Black Goat of the Woods pays homage to the dark denizen of the nocturnal glades, and is a true paean to backwoods horror, and finds its rightful home amidst the desolate drones and creepy, crepuscular electronics that is Forestpunk.
Shub-Niggurath cuts an interesting figure, a loaded symbol. While The Goat With A Thousand Young was originally cast as one of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones, later stories make her out to be an almost protector of mankind, allied against more malevolent deities like Ghanatothoa. She has been equated with Astarte, the Mesopotamian version of Ishtar, as well as Pan and even Baphomet. What we see her is a clear illustration of Christian/Western over-simplification – the continued demonization of all things Earthy and Pagan, as can be seen in the co-opting of Pan and Dionysus into the image of Satan, or the coercion of Baal, the Lord Of The Earth, into Beelzebub, the Lord Of Flies. Anyone that knows anything knows that a fertility god, or a God of Celebration like Pan, is not the same thing as Satan, which means “Adversary”, the more traditional image of the devil on the shoulder, or the one that trips up yr footsteps.
Delving into the forest means going beyond names and labels, into the essence of a thing. To fearlessly scrutinize the spirit of all things, and to do decide for one’s self what is good or bad, moral or amoral. For those that love the Earth, and the things contained within, there is nothing to be feared, in these dark glens.
I’m dreadfully obsessed with Black Mountain Transmitter, and this kind of rural drone. I’d love to find more things along this line, but there’s no good name for this style. If anyone cares to share their expertise, please leave a comment!
If you like this, make sure to check out The Goatman soundtrack i posted about a few weeks ago.
To learn more about the origins of the name Black Mountain Transmitter, and Moore’s early uncanny experiences, as well as hear a tremendous mix he put together, check out this piece from The Outer Church.