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The National Orchestra of the United Kingdom of Goats - Vaaya and the Sea CD (album) cover


The National Orchestra of the United Kingdom of Goats

Heavy Prog

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Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars The National Orchestra Of The United Kingdom Of Goats, or, to make things easier for us, UKOG, is an Italian band formed around 2010 and Vaaya And The Sea (2012) is their first full length album. Released in December, after 2 EPs that came into being a year before, Vaaya And The Sea (2012) is available as CD and free download on the band's website.

The band is a world of its own where all their albums tell a story. And this story takes place in a fictional place called Kolepta. Not just that, the members of the band are also part of the story and they only perform under their uniforms and paintings. They're known as 'The Insane', 'The Coachman', 'The Admiral' and 'The Seer'.

When it comes to the music that UKOG plays, it can be categorized as New Prog with influences that passe through Porcupine Tree, Muse, Radiohead and even 30 Seconds To Mars.

Vaaya And The Sea (2012) is astonishingly well produced and recorded by the band itself, which is quite hard to have in an unknown band this days. The journey begins with 'The Unyielding Summons' where we can clearly see the powerful music the band plays. Second track 'Chains' is full of ambience and sounds but also full of melody.

The pop side of the band speaks louder on 'The White City' and attached to it we have the sinister 'A Memorial To The Descent' that is absolutely experimental, full of noises and electronic bits.

The next two tracks form the mini suite 'Black Citadel'. Part 1 is called 'Sanctuary' and shows us a perfect mix of heavy guitars and modern electronic rock. UKOG continues the suite with the 'Empire' and its dark, grim vocals. To back those vocals nothing is better than a chaotic/electronic song with some amazing drum parts.

The title-track comes as a slower song to combine with the vision of the ocean that the song suggests. Clean vocals in a dreamy melody are perfectly completed by some brilliant guitar work towards the middle of the track. A 10 minutes piece that'll probably catch you by your ankles. To close Vaaya And The Sea (2012) we have 'Evening Choir' and its weird but catchy melody under the sound of rain. This could be the most amazing way to back a song? the rain? calm, peaceful and brilliant!

It's not that easy to spot The National Orchestra Of The United Kingdom Of Goats as a Progressive Rock band, but at the same time it would be ridiculous to put them aside. They have far too many Progressive elements in their music.

Vaaya And The Sea (2012) is an album for the lovers of the new era of Progressive Rock and for the ones that love good and catchy melodies. That's exactly why you should listen to this guys!

(Originally posted on

Report this review (#1079636)
Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars UKOG, or The National Orchestra Of The United Kingdom Of Goats to give them their full name, are a heavy alternative progressive rock quartet from Bolzano, Italy. The members prefer to remain anonymous, and use costumes and pseudonyms so all we are sure of is that the band comprises 'The Admiral' (guitars, vocals), 'The Coachman' (bass, background vocals), 'The Seer' (drums) and 'The Insane' (electronics). Now, one might imagine that the music they are providing is highly experimental and almost unlistenable, but in reality what we have here is an album of incredible depth and emotion that is accessible the very first time it is played and just keeps growing on the listener each time after that.

They are bringing together elements of Porcupine Tree, Mars Volta, Radiohead, Muse, Pink Floyd and so many more to create a soundscape that is powerful and hard hitting, yet also with a depth and delicacy so that it seems like the musical notes may shatter like a pane of glass if treated too roughly. There are time changes, staccato moves to break up the serenity, strident guitars to take over from the keyboards, but always there is a continuity and direction that keeps the music moving forward. Always moving forward, progressing towards the goal.

This, their full-length debut album, came out towards the end of 2012 so let's hope that they will soon return with another as this is superb.

Report this review (#1158031)
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 | Review Permalink


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