Christmas is coming and with it there are always the odd Scrooges too. It seems old Ebenezer has played a part in putting together this EP, The Key And The Gate, from Swedish sextet Year Of The Goat by only giving you three tracks, surely a bit light on the ground as EP's go, especially as one is pure instrumental. But as every child knows when opening Christmas presents, it is not quantity that matters but quality and you do get that with the first two tracks at least.
The title track opens proceedings with a fast paced enjoyable affair. Certainly anthemic in its feel, the same as early day Iron Maiden - that is a real compliment.
At least you get your money's worth on the second track, Mystical Mountain, which lasting over 7 minutes pines for the days when NWOBHM ruled the world, although not uniquely taking its roots from the British bands but the era as a whole. Deep Purple and Blue Oyster Cult influences are there along with a plethora of other bands who created those deep riffs synonymous to the era, along with the much loved Hammond Organ. A real standout track.
The final track Non-Euclidean Calculus is the instrumental track that makes you wonder if Year Of The Goat have time travelled back to the 60's, partaken in some mushrooms of the magical variety and come back to life to find this piece. It does take its time to kick in and only after making you think it was going to launch into the famous Chariots Of Fire theme tune half way through. This track really should only appear as an album filler, not as a 3 track EP filler!
Now, can someone pass me those humbugs?