Valediction opens with an absolute blast of keyboard driven black metal in ‘Relentless Passing’, a total howl which then drops into some gentler darkwave and out again into the harsh industrial landscape. Yes I’m back with GosT again where genre borders waver and blur. Blackened EBM meets goth and darkwave in an industrial melting pot.
Valediction pretty much continues where predecessor Possessor left off, confounding borders and no doubt annoying purists. Take the gorgeous third track ‘Dreadfully Pious”; insistent EBM beats, deep vocals dripping with disappointment and a swagger of danceability, echoes of Depeche Mode in the multi-layered arrangement and a hard edge to the lyrics, straight into the noise of ‘Timeless Turmoil’ with great sheets of industrial metal that wouldn’t be out of place with Aborym or Blut Aus Nord before stepping into a moments quiet before the voice of their deity obliterates them. Then back to the darkwave of ‘Bloody Roses’ which sounds velvet gentle until you really listen and the metal spine within hits you.
There is something dark and cynical in the heart of GosT. The black metal synth cousin of VNV Nation or Bella Morte. There is nothing weak about the sound; it has a grit even in instrumental excursions like ‘Call Of The Faithful’. Edges abound and slice the unwary from within folds of electronica.
The spirit of Goblin lives on in ‘ She Lives In Red Light’, a sumptuous, evocative song that ripples with odd late 90s goth echoes and cinematic giallo claustrophobia. ‘Ligature Marks’ is equally evocative; narcotic swirling nights as rain patters on the city pavements, broken neon flickers through steam, and then the mask is peeled with snarls and spittle and you realise just what you have consented to. ‘Push’ afterwards comes across a little of the spirit of The Young Gods, a slightly trippy little number shattered by the deconstruction into a sound reminiscent of NIN around Broken. Just harder.
GosT continue to confound with Valediction. They are the strangest of hybrids, the crossroads where EBM, goth, noise, industrial, dark and synthwave meet black metal and compromise nothing. For every person I know who would baulk at this I can think of others who will fully embrace it as it waters down none of its parts. There is beauty in this darkness, sadism in its gentle moments and cynicism towards human nature, perhaps. Mostly though this is the sound of Baalberith continuing his exploration in music of knife edges in the dark, of twisted cults and obsessional love.
Marvellous, unbalanced and unique.
And if you’re going to Damnation he’s running the after party. Afterhours with GosT. That will be a strange and perfect place.