As with most other stoner/doom releases, the first thing that caught my eyes for American stoner/doom metal band Cokegoat‘s debut album Vessel was the album artwork, with the rather trippy and somewhat psychedelic feel that it emanates. Along with their moniker, Cokegoat almost promises to leave one either stoned or high from the Vessel experience.
But right from the start with Fear the Followers, the punkish vibe that the band gives off quickly reminds one of sludge masters such as Black Tusk or Kylesa, with the simple riffs that are unleashed by guitarists Chase, Jeff and Ed. However the thing that really gives Cokegoat its raw energy and intensity is in the dual vocal attack on Vessel, alternating between the more extreme metal-leaning growls and punk-styled shouts. Drummer Jordan also alternates with ease between the stripped-down, simplistic drumming to more complex patterns, and the energy that he provides to the band’s music at times even brings about comparisons to Mastodon.
Throughout the record, the band also shows off their doomish side, often alternating faster and more energetic moments with slower ones, displaying the versatility in their songwriting. The rather subtle usage of the keyboards of Rebekah even helps the band attain a rather early occult-rock ambient as well, and along with the crushing riffs on the slower moments on the album, one is easily reminded of legends like Black Sabbath or Saint Vitus, especially on moments like the intro of Buried in the City.