In 2017, GOATMOON truly etched its name its Finnish black metal legendry with Stella Polaris, a monument of cosmic, snow-capped majesty. The entirely dungeon synth Silver Serpent followed in 2021, but now arrives GOATMOON's full-length return to black metal with What Once Was… Shall Be Again. As presaged by its title, there's an undeniably yearning and nostalgic aspect to the band's characteristically epic ruminations, occasionally/often dusted by folkloric synths. But if one were to assume that What Once Was… Shall Be Again would further continue that refinement – and indeed, in large part, it does – the album equally takes GOATMOON back to their earliest, rawest roots, here temped by the steely-eyed austerity of older age and wisdom. It's a skillful balance pulled off with aplomb, proving that the band honor their history but rarely repeat themselves. And more than anything, it provides another dazzling new canvas on which warriors and dreamers can explore…but no safe spaces here, of course. No other words necessary: What Once Was... Shall Be Again!