Album Review: The Goat Wizard’s “The Anthromancer”

It was only a matter of time before The Goat Wizard released a full-length album with their current lineup. As one of Lawrence’s busiest campus bands, releasing a set of demos in the summer of 2015 and playing many shows last year, the progressive rock group has been brimming with material—they just had to record it. After a few days of essentially locking themselves in a room in the Conservatory, the quintet finished recording and moved on to production, with a goal of translating their dense, chaotic shows into a studio album with some of the same attributes while guiding their sound down new pathways as well.

While more than half of the album’s material was on “Are These Demos?!?!!,” it is clear the band has matured and refined their sound, carefully molding their music into a charged hybrid of intricate orchestrations and limitless explorations. The care and meticulous editing post-recording was mostly bassist/vocalist and senior Will Patton’s doing, and his voice as a producer shines throughout the album. Providing clarity from instrument to instrument, Patton also experimented relentlessly with production, using the tools in the studio as instruments in themselves. The product is a polished work that shows off complex songwriting and composition through a variety of sonic lenses.

From informal brainstorming and composing sessions in their beginnings to demos with three of the current members to many concerts with their current lineup, it seems The Goat Wizard has really found its footing with “The Anthromancer.” While their tumultuous live jams definitely have their time and place, the emphasis and focus on a different artistic vision rooted in the art of creating a studio album rather than live music was noticeable and refreshing. It is unclear how the release of their debut album will affect their shows or if listeners can expect more releases any time soon, but regardless, the band’s followers can at least expect a forward momentum.

“The Anthromancer” and demos are available digitally at thegoatwizard.bandcamp.com. Physical copies are also available online and through any member—Patton, seniors Luis Gonzalez and Alex Kurki, junior Liam McCarty and Greyson Sztuczko ’16.

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