Review Summary: A heavy and dark hip-hop album that takes influences from memphis rap and metal alike.
Ever since the drop of the latest Bring Me The Horizon album there has been a lot of talk about the future of metal and the modern shape of what metal music actually looks like. From an anthropological standpoint, it is ignorant to define metal as just as the structure of guitar chords, but rather a culture, an attitude and a community. The style Ghostmane presents on this album is fresh and is arguably a representation of a new wave of music. Ghostmane is not a metal act in the classical sense but a new beast entirely, heavily inspired by metal, a spiritual successor if you will.
Ghostmane is self admittedly a metal fan, even sporting lyrics such as:
"Riding around town with no lights on
Bumpin' DarkThrone out my Audi A4
Pentagram on my shawty torso"
and reps death metal band shirts from time to time - this context is critical is understanding where NOISE is coming from: it is a heavy, dark, and disturbing album. While diverse throughout, there is a common suffocating atmosphere that is present throughout each song.
The bass on NOISE is massive, disjointed and thunderous – right at the forefront of each song. Vocals are buried in the mix of bass and horror style Memphis rap synths. This album could be described as a meeting of the horrorcore elements of Three 6 mafia Memphis rap with metal, featuring disturbing lyrics and dark quotes from movies.
Ghostmane demonstrates a wide diversity of styles on this album from the Nine Inch Nails inspired ‘Inside’ to screaming breakdowns on ‘Black Blood’, hell the closer here even reminds me a lot of Brand New. That said not all styles are performed equally, Ghostmane is at his best when he is using a more traditional horrorcore style of Memphis rapping, he occasionally offers a more ‘whiny’ style of rapping that is supposed to come across as uncaring and dark but it honestly just comes across as ridiculously corny and fake.
This album is a really enjoyable listen from beginning to end, even though it is very uneven, there is a great amount of diversity here that is cohesively held together. I’m not sure if the future of metal is in rap but it will be interesting to see what happens.