Album Reviews

Learning How to Say Goodbye

The first album I reviewed on my website was Even Oxen’s Arrayed Above the Seraphim Lights. Because of that, the album carries a certain level of nostalgia and comfort. The acoustic guitars and Bersain Beristain’s transcendant vocal performance make me feel blessed by the love of God.

I have had the good fortune of conversating with Bersain here and there after my review. When he told me that The Goat Lamb of God was his send-off project for Even Oxen, I got choked up. I had grown attached to the band and the concept of having them gone forever was scary.

I’ve struggled with things being “over” before. An indefinite hiatus is infinitely more comforting than a definite conclusion. I took these emotions with me as I began my listens of Even Oxen’s final project.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 5:3-5

“Psalm 18”, with its poignant guitars, guide the listener along while a voice recites lines from Matthew 5. Bersain’s yearning vocals chime in as the tension builds into an explosion of swirling noise. The sense of euphoria and warmth eminating from this track lulled me into a sense of comfort.

“Early in the Morning” made me smile as it felt like an homage to Bersain’s previous work. Bersain is very precise with his use of noise and nowhere is this more apparent than on “Soli Deo Gloria.”

While Arrayed Above the Seraphim Lights may have had a song recorded in a truck, the production quality on The Goat Lamb of God is fantastic. I found myself constantly blown away by how good all the instrumentation and vocals sounded. The lo-fi bedroom aesthetic is no longer present. Nirvana and trascendance are Bersain’s tools, now.

The 6-song long tracklist runs for a time of 13 minutes and change, but I found myself viewing this project as one coherent track. It is an ultimate, gorgeous display to the Lord that highlights the beauty of our world. The Goat Lamb of God celebrates the best of Even Oxen and feels like a fitting fireworks finale to this project.

No longer do I feel apprehensive or sad about the end of this project. The Goat Lamb of God feels like the perfect note to end on. I find myself rejuvenated spiritually and mentally with every listen. I eagerly anticipate Bersain’s next endeavor.

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