Cerca nel blog

Caricamento in corso...

sabato 6 dicembre 2014

Godhunter/Secrets of the Sky – GH/0ST:S

#FOR FANS OF: Death/Doom/Sludge
There are some bands, that when you first listen to them, certain identifiable qualities immediately jump out you: you can often hear their prominent stylistic influences declare themselves clearly though certain parts of certain songs. This is not the case with Godhunter. It took me a long time for me to get some grasp of what they were trying to say in their "City of Dirt" release. Being an active songwriter and musician myself, I attempt to understand what an artist or band is trying to accomplish before I start to review them in writing. You immediately feel the power (and the dynamics) on the initial listen of this Godhunter release, but there is significantly more to be explored below the surface of the obvious. This isn't throwaway pseudo-Satanic claptrap (Venom) or gore (Cannibal Corpse) designed to appeal to an audience who just wants to be part of shocking mainstream social sensibilities while railing and rebelling against whatever they can, whenever they can. I wonder how many of those listeners and fans realize they've essentially adopted the original 1970s punk movement philosophy of nihilism and anarchy by becoming 'rebels without a clue'. Godhunter, in contrast, manages to be heavy and yet subtle at the same time, which is a rare mix: as metal isn't often known for its subtlety. It's what impresses me most about this band, yet makes them a challenge to do justice to in a review. Their heaviness seems to embody relevant and current political commentary, without coming across as either preachy or alienating to fans of multiple metal and rock genres. GH/0ST:S Varies between psychedelic, progressive, and extreme metal. The first track—"Pursuit/Predator"—indicates a psychotic transference of sexual desire into the thrill of killing another human being. This song is a good candidate for behavioral analysis by FBI profilers as depicted in the TV series "Criminal Minds"; as it is a very telling portrait of obsession and psychosis. There are elements of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) reminiscent in the guitar playing, with some harkening back thematically to the Queensryche classic, "Operation Mindcrime". Overall, the music is very theatrical and moody throughout GH/0ST:S II. It's important to give the whole GH/OST:S release an uninterrupted and undistracted listen through headphones. It consists of only four songs, laid out for vinyl (two on each side): Side A (Godhunter): 1. Pursuit/Predator. The protagonist of the song transforms carnal lust into bloodlust. Opening narration: "I like killing people. It's so much fun. It's more fun than—hunting wild game in the forest: 'cause man is the most dangerous animal of all. To kill something, is the most thrilling experience. It's even better than getting your rocks off with a girl. I won't give you my name, 'cause you'll try to stop me...." Ending narration: "I wanna report a murder. She was—so beautiful. So I followed her home last night and I shot her in the head with my .45. She's lying here now, next to me; bleeding, not breathing. She was—so beautiful. Goodbye...."; 2. GH/0ST:S Side B (Secrets of the Sky) 3. The Star; 4. GH/0ST:S II. Narration (starting around 7:13 into song), "Impulsive. Sighing, he glanced at the police psychologist's report on the recent desecrations at Holy Trinity Church...." although I had trouble hearing some of the words in this piece of narrative it gets rather graphic and rude...alluding to a sexualized satanic influence in the murder alluded to on the "Godhunter", side (here on the "Secrets of the Sky" side) without making it sound contrived, or necessarily supportive of Satanism. I wonder if Godhunter chose to spell the album title this way (putting a slash after the "GH", substituting a zero for the letter "o", and putting a colon between the "T" and "S") to minimize confusion with the 2008 NIN (Nine Inch Nails) Release "Ghosts I-IV".... Also, why wasn’t this release, as it goes back and forth between driving metal and reflective psychedelia—perhaps reflecting the wild mood swings of the protagonist in this story—instead entitled "Mind of a Madman" or "Memoirs of a Sociopath”: unless perhaps both already taken? This is definitely an album to reflect upon, as there is a story worth hearing on here. (Bob Szekely)

(The Compound/Battleground Rec - 2014)
Score: 90