Album Review: Ghost Bath – Moonlover (Nuclear Blast)
It’s impossible to not feel that sense of rising excitement as an album intro lifts towards a cacophony of noise & that is exactly what we get here with the short intro The Sleeping Fields which blends into the 9+ minute wonder that is Golden Number.
It’s often a moment that leaves you feeling disappointed but not here, not with Ghost Bath.
This isn’t just music, this is a fucking journey one that swoops & swerves leaving you breathless. I suggest you stop whatever you’re doing right now & listen to this song. You’ll be left as open-mouthed as I was.
I have to draw comparisons with another band I had only come across a few months ago & that’s Deafheaven. The two have some similarities with their fast paced, death metal stylings & sudden shifts in direction but the absence of clear vocal work here, guttural roars & screams makes all the difference. It’s not unique but it feels like it is & the repeat button is hit instantly just so it can all be taken in.
The talent on display here is unbelievable, what this band is able to do with guitars, mind-blowing on a first listen, unbelievably immense on the second…one of the albums of the year on the third.
A blend of black metal, doom and more, it’s tough to pigeon-hole Ghostbath into any one genre. It’s an assault on the mind. The intensity of the roars and screams that accompany the amazing talent on guitar really make songs like Happyhouse something incredible to listen too.
It’s not all hard & heavy metal too, songs like Beneath the Shade Tree really slow things down opting for a more sorrowful, mournful approach. A dark and lonely journey through deep woods with the wind howling & the moon full, the imagery it conjures up is one of deep dark fantasy. The use of ambient sounds, whispering of wildlife & nature really solidifies the effect.
At only 7 songs long it might seem short but the album comes in at around 50 minutes long, not including a bonus track. The double header of Silver Flower Parts 1 and 2 really sum up what Ghostbath are about. The first part a mix of quiet strumming & ambient sounds while the second part assaults your senses with an incredible blend of metal.
Moon Lover ends as strongly as it begun, Death and the Maiden ties it all together perfectly. One of the heaviest songs on the entire album, any thoughts that you’d seen the best of what Ghostbath had to offer are dismissed here. Even its sudden drift away to the sounds of strumming & whistling somehow manage to sound threatening.
Yep, this is a good ‘un. Check this band & this album out, you won’t be disappointed.
Overall Track List:
1. The Sleeping Fields
2. Golden Number
4. Beneath the Shade Tree
5. The Silver Flower, Part 1
6. The Silver Flower, Part 2
7. Death and the Maiden
Ghost Bath - Moonlover (Nuclear Blast)
The Final Score - 9.5/10