I think this is the second or third album by the entity that is GoST but my first encounter, and it is a little hard to tell as there appear to be a whole collection of EPs and stuff online. Anyway I have to say it is an eclectic blast of black energy into the electronic scene. Starting with a sample of some moral panic merchant about Satanism, which immediately throws me back in time to ‘Confessions Of A Knife’ period My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult we then get utterly battered by the brutal keyboards of ‘Garruth’. Its low register, distorted machine gun fast assault verges on gabba in its brutal simplicity before the synthwave style melodic keys come in. With a brief spurt of howled black metal style vocals we’re already sucked in.
‘The Prowler’ is little more ‘normal’ synthwave sound, a bubbling instrumental that comes in with a feel somewhere between Tangerine Dream at their most sinister and a John Carpenter soundtrack. Echoes of early Electric Hellfire Club seep in and the rhythmic keyboards have a real dirty, gritty sound. It’s terrific stuff, dark and compelling and setting of images in your mind like light bulbs burning out one by one. ‘Sigil’ has vocal lines and a dry, weary style that comes across like The Sisters Of Mercy playing Front 242, an infectious EBM style that is superb.
Passing through tracks like ‘Loudas Deceit’ and ‘Beliar’ you realise how strong an individual identity GoST has, a sudden impact crash of EBM, synthwave, power electronics, industrial and even goth. We get bursts of the kind of keyboard driven black metal that might have been vomited from the depths of Dodheimsgard or Blacklodge, more Satanic samples and great howls of descent into the pit. ‘Legion’ slows and unleashed a maelstrom that hurdles around Anaal Nathrakh and Blut Aus Nord, just without a guitar in sight. It’s an unholy and utterly raucous racket. Wonderful, in other words.
‘Shiloh’s Lament’ is a driving EBM soundtrack, a four minute head rush through the underbelly of a neon lit city perhaps. ‘Malum’ is synthwave gone house, dance music for the damned with some great vocals; lazy, sleazy, decadent perfection. ‘Commandment’ closes out with more electronic meets black metal ire, dark punishing explosions and howled, blackened vocals amidst a dark dance beat and keyboard flourishes before ending in a collapse that would stand toe to toe with Gnaw Their Tongues. Utterly mesmerising this and a fine ending.
‘Possessor’ is proof to me that the broad church of synthwave (if it even is a genre) is pushing, distorting and branching out into any damned direction it feels like. This is a weird chimera, a genuine blending of power electronics, dance, black metal and eighties soundtracks and woven with a superb, dexterous hand. For synthwave fans who want to get a little nastier, adventurous black metal fans and anyone who misses the old days of MLWTTKK. Let’s make up a new genre: Satanwave anyone? Maybe not.
Just indulge yourself. It’s dark, harsh and you might just be able to dance to it…