Review Summary: The inception of Doomwave
Forget “dark synth,” from now on this style of synthwave should be called “Doomwave.”
The texture of the synths are so rich yet the distortion is not overpowering and the production is clean and beautiful. The songs never get repetitive and each song brings something new to the table. What really sets this apart from other synthwave albums is its sense of dynamics and songwriting. There’s the heavy sections, the blast beats when the pace picks up, but there are also breakdowns (yknow, the kinds that you’d usually hear in hardcore punk or metalcore) and carefully placed quiet, atmospheric sections.
Really, it’s that careful balance of dynamics and sheer heaviness that ranks this as one of the best doomwave albums. Not only that but the synths truly sounds like “riffs” but not in the artificial way it does like on other albums in the genre (like, say, Master Boot Record). The dissonant synths on “Gargantua” are designed and played like black metal riffs and the distorted start-stop riffs littered all over the album could have been lifted from a Rammstein record.
It’s all of these factors which come together that makes this such a unique and innovative album in the genre. That last minute on “CyberKult” is one of the most truly evil and heaviest moments of doomwave ever recorded and that’s still taking into account GosT’s Possessor
, Master Boot Record’s Virus.Dos
, and Occams Laser’s Occult 87
Even with all the gushing, there is admittedly still room for improvement. The production is impeccable but one thing that holds the music back by a bit is the drums. They sound great but for what they’re programmed to do, they’re much better fit for a live drummer. I also couldn’t help but feel that vocals would be a welcome inclusion too.
The fact that there’s the possibility that Shredder1984 is capable of more intense, infernal heaviness is almost a terrifying thought. However, it goes to show how much the synthwave scene has been evolving and that isn’t a very terrifying thought at all.