Day 5 of Hipster Week.
If it feels as if I’ve talked about Ghost Bath not too long ago, it’s because I did. About a month or so ago I reviewed their newest outing Starmourner. We all know what my thoughts were on that one. It wasn’t bad or terrible, but it was disappointing. To summarize, It had too much of a light-hearted, ”uplifting” feel to it and not enough bleakness. Another reason it was disappointing is was because it was kind of a step down from this album, which is far superior, in my opinion.
Moonlover is the 2015 sophomore album by the North Dakota bunch that really caught people’s eye and got the ball rolling for them… well, either that or the whole not really being Chinese thing. Either way, it worked. Anyway, I listened to this album again, for the first time in quite a while, and I was actually shocked at how much better it is than Starmourner. This album is much bleaker and darker-toned than it’s successor and as a result, is much more enjoyable. The lighter riffs are still present, but not over-emphasized and overdone. This album is more of a showcasing of the darker, bleaker side of the band’s style. Even the cover art is evident of that. As a result of this, the band’s sound is a lot more tolerable to my ears. Musically, these guys get put on the same boat as Deafheaven, and I get that comparison, but to me, their on a level higher than those mooks. Ghost Bath actually adds some sort of versatility and depth to their sound and aren’t exhaustively repetitive. Harsh to say, sure, but damn true.
The only track on here that I can even moderately diss is opener Golden Number, but only because of that infamous drippy riff it has, you know which one i’m talking about. Aside from that though, I can’t really shit on it much. Pretty good track overall. Then we have Happyhouse, which opens with a pretty cool riff and has a slow, doomy pace to it. Probably my favorite track, despite it’s name. Then after two more decent instrumentals, we have another doomy song in The Silver Flower pt. 2 and the mid-paced, satisfying closer Death and the Maiden, both songs round up the album really well and comlpete the package of the dreary piece of work this album is. I know I might get some shit for praising something made by this band, but fuck it. I enjoy them. I was disappointed by their latest album, but this one and the last one are what keep me interested.
So again, regardless of how you feel about this band and the shenanigans they pulled before everyone knew they were a bunch of white dudes from North Dakota, or how you feel about this sub-section of Black Metal as a whole, this is a really damn good album and a MUCH better outing than their latest one. I feel like they deserve more credit for their earlier works and hearing this album again after hearing Starmourner really drove that point home for me. Hipsters? Maybe, but good at what they do? I sure as hell think so. If you disagree, that’s fine, different strokes, but these folks are talented and are levels above most of their peers. Regardless of how their latest effort turned out, i’m still a fan and I hope their next one is an improvement. Until then, i’ll just keep enjoying this and Funeral. Worth it.
Until next time.