sabato 11 aprile 2015
Ghost Bath - Moonlover
Release date: April 10, 2015 (or March 13, it depends on where you are)
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Genre: Depressive Black Metal, except these guys seem kinda ok with their lives.
Unofficial stream, I think. If any rights holder says "not cool" I'll remove it. Just, try before you buy, you know? Anyway, you can buy the album HERE.
WHAT THIS IS ABOUT
They're from North Dakota, but claimed to be from China for a while. I'd do that too if I was from North Dakota. South Dakota is best Dakota. Their first album, Funeral, was well received, and they're published by Northern Silence, which is one of the best European (that's globalization, kids) labels specialized in gloomy, doomy, atmospheric black metal. It's a genre best described using $10 words, which I would do if I was writing in my first language (and that's globalization too). If you want to look cool in front of your friends, compare them to Deafheaven.
WHAT IT DOES RIGHT
They do the metal thing better than the atmospheric thing. Every time Ghost Bath make it louder and more intense, Moonlover shines. The Silver Flower Pt. 2 is one of the best recent songs in this genre, because it flows around you with heavy guitars. Likewise, Death and the Maiden does everything right, capturing an intangible feel that is more tormented than depressive. Even if it lacks the pagan feel so deeply rooted in depressive black metal classics, it's an album with its own niche, not afraid of sounding similar to other bands because Ghost Bath are so convinced of their quality that this personality is enough to make their music sound different. These guys have an identity, which is priceless.
WHAT IT DOES WRONG
The intro ties horribly with the first track. It drives me nuts. You want to do a cool intro, that's great, I love it. Make it so it flow right into the next song. Please. On a more serious note, I get it musically but it doesn't get me emotionally. It's well crafted, but it feels a bit empty, like all this crying and lamenting and screaming and shoegazing has no true purpose. Of course, we're not here to debate intentions, and there is no doubt that the results are quite impressive, except for some moments where it sounds like they fell asleep while arpeggio-ing.
I'm a sucker for fake backstories, and I wish they kept that going a little longer. Kinda hard to justify it when even Vice slams you for it, I get it. Right now, though, that aura of mystery is gone, and I can't help but picture four smelly dudes acting all emo in some basement. Which might be your thing, I don't know. Moonlover is a work of craft, more than art, and a damn good one when everything works the way it should. It's perhaps a little too well done for its own good, and it sounds sterile unless it's pushing with full force. The last two tracks are great, so listen to them and rejoice.