REVIEW: GHOSTBATH – “Moonlover”
One would often associate black metal with ideas of mental extremity that leaves little or no space for a more ‘humane’ sound. One would as often go quite wrong too! In fact on a deeper level, this intriguing genre of music goes to the deepest depths to capture the rudiments of human existence. This is where we stumble across DSBM or Depressive and Suicidal Black Metal. It sounds controversial by itself but for the seasoned listener this genre of metal is quite therapeutic. While exploring themes that are self-explanatory, DSBM creates a whole lot of perspectives both personally and in a musical sense. DSBM act Ghostbath with their newest album ‘Moonlover’ seeks to try and venture into these interesting themes in its own style.
‘Moonlover’ opens up with “The Sleeping Fields”- a short instrumental intro that is sure to slow things down. As the former fades away, the song “Golden Number” comes into full force. This (golden) number has its own special surprises. The use of fast paced arrangements to create an ambient sound is an interesting aspect of this song. The song is leaves a solid impression with its screams. “Happyhouse” follows in quick succession. This song is in every sense a serene trance. This song sounds both sad and uplifting at the same time. Funny, how that works! Here on, it is still not exactly easy to guess what the remaining album might sound like. “The Silver Flower” part 1 and 2 sound majestic in simple ways. Unwinding and unassuming in tempting tones. Moving over to songs “Death and The Maiden” and “Accession” are points where the album climaxes in showcases itself in so many ways. These songs reflect the trends on the album prior to this song and they ease out in a smooth manner, thereby ending the album. A travesty of emotion.
‘Moonlover’ is a special album. Ambience in intensity would be an apt description of this album. In its compositions, the band abstains from carrying any stereotypical DSBM tone. Ghostbath in this offering sounds very lively for a DSBM arrangement (irony much?). Jokes apart, the album is especially therapeutic. It is amazing to experience this level of intense music to actually be more soothing rather than being explosive. A mixture and balance of the best worlds of heavy and soft will leave this album as ‘kvlt’ in time to come. The members of this wonderful band choose to not let this band be entirely about its members but more about the music and the human connect that it offers. This album is a good example of textures in music that sound dark with a sweet pitch of melody. The work on the keys, guitars, bass, drums and vocals are top notch. Balanced production ensures that the depth and the varieties of the textures on the music are well heard. A long trip into angst is what anyone can anticipate before listening to this album, and it isn’t bad! An album loaded with feelings- exceptional in multiple ways.