Release Date:13 August
Record Label: Century Media Records
For Fans Of: Carpenter Brut, Perturbator, Drab Majesty
In 2021 the main players in the Synthwave camp are splitting defiantly in own directions, with Carpenter Brut’s campy slasher horror disco formula only growing sillier and groovier, whilst Pertubator has swapped out his industrial pumellings for a more reserved 80s pop slant. But where does this leave Gost?
In the case of Rites Of Love And Reverence, Gost appears to have just taken things unapologetically darker, sneaking amongst the various sub-genres that inform this scene with absolute ease. Be it brooding cyber-grind, Code Orange-esque glitching, Type-O-style melodrama, or the good old Stranger-Things-Soundtrack-gone-MDMA trick, Gost is pushing into new depths.
The first track proper, ‘Bound By The Horror’, is a genuinely punishing and headphone-shredding piece of electronic music, an industrial dirge flavoured with strings straight from a Hitchcock movie. It’s a stark contrast with the closer, ‘Burning Time’, an unexpected acoustic ballad, but manages to match the bleak factor of all the tracks around it.
Gost’s vocals are looming and beckoning in a vampiric fashion, but occasionally reach a full on Black-metal screech to match the rushes of industrial blast-beat that scatter the record. ‘Embrace the Blade’ is the prime example of this and absolutely slays as well. ‘Coven’ and ‘November The Blade’ meanwhile bring back that bouncy, bassy synth-pop vibe, and absolutely bathe in it.
The only real frustration with this record is one that rings true for a lot of the Synthwave scene: The recurring synth tones, riffs and rhythms that help to create a cohesive universe of 80s horror, also feel a bit repetitive by the end of the record. It’s worth saying that Gost is about as good as you can get at trying to mix up the formula in tempo and texture, but it’s a formula nonetheless.
Regardless, it’s hard to remember a synthwave album that delights in sadistic fun as much as this one. Flamboyant, yes. Silly, occasionally. But always icy and genuinely threatening at the same time. Gost continues to be one of the most cutting edge acts in Synthwave and is capable of creating indisputable bangers.