F U L L . R E V I E W S
Typically here at Maximum Metal we try to emphasize our coverage on the second word in our moniker. Yet from time to time we do like to skirt the edges and peruse the other genres. Being a big fan of horror films and their scores, I was turned on to an entertaining electronic band called GosT. The US band is influenced by the soundtracks of the 80s, but also falls into a new sub-genre that Finland act Perturbator deems "slasherwave".
Probably the most notable time frame of this type of synth-pop is 1979-1983, possibly highlighted by Italian act Goblin's contributions. Goblin, or musicians from the band, were often found in Spaghetti horror films by directors like Dario Argenta and Lucio Fulci. The sound was made famous domestically through directors such as John Carpenter, who not only directed, wrote and produced, but also helped create the scores behind a number of his films. For the 1978 thriller "Halloween", Carpenter's piano melodies, played in a 10/8 or 5/4 meter, not only accompany the film…but in many ways are contributing to the overall tension and mood stressed by the slasher premise. The same can be said for his dark synths running throughout 1983's "Escape from New York".
Throughout the late 70s and 80s pop culture has heavily utilized synth pop, from horror films and action staples to television commercials. Most recently the synth sound even finds its way into metal's multi-faceted genre. We've seen bands like Marilyn Manson, Kovenant, Rob Zombie, Pain and Rammstein use synth loops, electric organs, piano and industrial elements as their musical foundation.
GosT apparently is a huge fan of this 1979-1983 sound based on this debut album entitled 'Behemoth'. Tracks like "Ripper" runs bass and pop melodies under a darker atmosphere similar to Harry Manfredini's main theme for "Friday the 13th Part 3" (1982). "Bathory Bitch", with its more grandiose piano use, is in the vein of Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave's treatment of "Phantasm's" film score (1979). The title track incorporates more gothic overtones with choral arrangements behind the steady rhythm and distortion. The most atmospheric is the slower moving "Sacrament" (minus any bass or beats) and the only vocal track, "Without a Trace", performed with beautiful female vocals.
If you like retro styled bands like Dan Terminus, Nightcrawler, Perturbator or some progressive instrumental bands like Anima Morte, look no further than this. Props are handed out for the passion and love for horror films, clearly evident on the album artwork – a treatment of John Carpenter's "The Thing" film done by French duo Fortifem.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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