Ghost Bath
Starmourner


1.5
very poor

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
May 3rd, 2017 | 197 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Album is bad/10

I feel absurd when compelled to begin this review with “I’m not actually one of Ghost Bath’s many naysayers, believe it or not”, but it’s true. What’s more, it’s unfortunately integral to make that distinction when writing anything based around the divisive act, one that sparks the loudest murmurs of dissent in black metal since Deafheaven dropped Sunbather. So I’ll say to hell with it, I didn’t hate Moonlover. Not even close. Sure, I acknowledge its faults to this day, namely that nothing on the album is up to par with its delightfully glamorous lead epic “Golden Number”, making for a startling disparity in quality across the record. In addition, it’s hard to deny certain claims of a derivative style, making comparisons to Deafheaven in the album title, and numerous depressive BM acts in the music. I don’t really care that much anymore truth be told, but Ghost Bath’s follow-up in Starmourner is making me have second thoughts.

What’s immediately apparent is that the popularity of “Golden Number” got to the band member’s heads and now many of the tracks feature similar melodic guitar lines pushed far up in the mix to serve as a hook. The rub is that they’ve been pushed too far up in the mix to the point that they stick out like a sore thumb, and there isn’t one that’s good enough to be worth remembering. “Seraphic”, the first actual song on the record, abuses this concept to comical levels with what sounds like a half-assed fusion of power metal guitar leads with quarter-baked happy-go-lucky black metal. This “happy” tone is a relatively common aspect of the album, but whether it’s wanted varies on a track-to-track basis. Some songs are outright laughable when saccharine guitar lines contrast with the ever-constant wails that are somewhat traditional in the depressive black metal scene. On the other hand, “Elysian” maintains that hopeful tone without going too far. Hell, it may be the only passable track here in retrospect. At another corner of the spectrum, songs like “Ambrosial” are more in line with the melancholic vibes of Moonlover, making Starmourner feel as excessively scattered mood-wise as it is quality-wise. Not every song may be comically horrendous, but those that aren’t mostly boil down to being astoundingly boring, derivative post-y black metal.

Even the flow of Starmourner is somewhat scattershot. Intro track “Astral” is basically just building keys, but it feels like it’s meant to be a catharsis rather than an introduction, as though it should’ve been tossed somewhere in the back half of the album or even closed the whole thing out. Ghost Bath apparently had a similar thought as closer “Ode” is similarly interlude esque, but the music is even more directionless. Fittingly, the production is awkward as well, “Thrones” being one of the biggest offenders thanks to jerky channel switching in the intro and curious audio disparities between certain sections. With half a dozen clashing tones throughout Starmourner’s ridiculously overlong runtime and uncertain direction, it feels appropriately ambiguous in the end. Doubtless many will wonder “Is that it"” when Starmourner tapers off, not because they wanted it to continue, but because it feels like Ghost Bath sliced off the final act to an already convoluted pseudo-epic. I was just desperately hoping it would end by the time Starmourner was supposed to be hitting its stride.



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user ratings (99)
Chart.
2.2
poor
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (2)
Ghost Bath's happy-go-lucky approach goes downhill....

zaruyache (2.5)
Repetitive writing and an inability to edit for content results in an album filled with moments of b...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Stream: gofuckyourselfdontlistentothistrash.bandcamp.com



idk i had fun writing this, maybe the humor is forced lemme know whatcha think

zaruyache
May 2nd 2017


19821 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Better than mine lel.

Dedes
May 2nd 2017


5902 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I like the immense amount of hate for this record, like are they the Emmure of Post-Black metal or what

zaruyache
May 2nd 2017


19821 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

the negativity they get is much more oriented toward their music just being mediocre in comparison with the popularity they have, rather than their being hated for being not great people making offensively bad music imo.

Dedes
May 2nd 2017


5902 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Popular as in infamous or actually legitimately popular with a big fan base

SitruK6
May 3rd 2017


1374 Comments


Band iz bad, nice review doe

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


2991 Comments


artwork is nice doe

Digging: Obliteration - Cenotaph Obscure

hansoloshotfirst
May 3rd 2017


1097 Comments


It's good to see that this album gets the deserved beatdown (at least on this site)

Tunaboy45
May 3rd 2017


16583 Comments


Artwork is wasted on the album

SitarHero
May 3rd 2017


7149 Comments


"I feel absurd just by the urge "

What?

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Not a technically incorrect way to say that, just maybe not a contemporary way to say it

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


6676 Comments


it's a bit of an awkward lead-in, imo.

also, " In addition, it’s hard to deny certain claims of a derivative style, making comparisons to Deafheaven in the album title, and numerous depressive BM acts in the music, hard to ignore"
- this sentence feels odd structurally. the "hard to ignore" at the end feels off


Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i thought it might be perceived as such, but I again i'm not sure it's incorrect despite being old fashioned or obsolete usage. will consider edits though for both, just didn't have any alternatives in my head at the time

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


6676 Comments


could go with "I feel absurd when compelled to begin this review with". the flow is slightly better. it's nitpicky, but imo the first and last sentences are always the most important, so it's good to have them juuuust right

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

sounds good, thanks for the suggestion

Essence
May 3rd 2017


6236 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

i'm not as hard on this as you are, but it's deffo not good



and agreed, Elysian is the only banger and i'm standin' by that

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

it's a very rare thing when im the guy really going in on a bad album, im usually that guy that gives it a 2.5/3 and claims that it isn't that bad

Essence
May 3rd 2017


6236 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

okay serious question, do you think there are "actually" lyrics, or is he just screaming aaagh aaagh aaaagh over and over



because i'm pretty sure it's #2



yeah honestly i'm probably a bit soft on this, it's definitely got some poopstain moments

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


2575 Comments


was torn between 1 and 1.5, review pushed me to be a little more positive

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2017


10402 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i wouldn't wanna know if they had lyrics tbh



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