Ghäst / Rape-X – Split Album …   Leave a comment

Alright, now this an interesting split album between Ghäst a doom drone metal band from Canada and Rape-X who call themselves a power electronics project from the US. Once again, listening to this makes me think the lines between doom, drone, and sheer noise have become a little too blurred for its own good. There is a word that is starting to get used pretty regularly by writers describing doom-acts and that word is ‘hybridization’ and I guess this split is just that. This split album comes to us via ‘Obskure Sombre Records’ and was released in 2010 but only recently came to my attention by a friend who threw the disc at me and said – ‘listen how bad this sh*t is.’ Well, it is not actually that bad but I hope you have an open mind and a large threshold for grim atmospherics and ugly noise-rock because you are going to need it.

Ghäst begin this split album with the 21 minute ‘Le Noyé’ that begins with metallic drones, reverb guitar and a lot of buzzing electricity sounds which creates an oppressive atmosphere. There is a distorted voice that spews forth unintelligible lyrics or should I say, words – it is a bit much to think of it as ‘lyrics’ really. The lifeless, cold music is captivating for the first 10 minutes then starts to drag a bit but it is certainly the best track on this split. The music does become more traditional when a two chord riff played in slow motion enters the picture but it is still based around ambient looping music and this might sound odd but they sound like a doom version of ‘Tangerine Dream’ on this track.

The second track from Ghäst on this split titled ‘Tétanos’ begins with atmospheric noise before settling down to a more traditional sludge sound but there is still the noise, harsh distortions, samples and other strange sound effects. My main gripe with these tracks, especially with ‘Tétanos’ is the horrible drum sound which sounds like they got directly from an online drum-machine, I could be 100% wrong on that of course but whatever it is, it sounds pretty bad to me. Overall this is by far the weaker of the two Ghäst tracks even though it is a bit more traditional and assessable. If you think Ghäst is too far removed from what you think of as ‘doom-metal’, then you will hate whats up next which is 3 tracks from Rape-X lasting a painful 36 minutes.

Now I didn’t like Rape-X at all so I will keep this as short as I can. The band uses a lot of high frequencies, noises, death-metal growls, and an atmosphere of violence and torture but it is so repetitive, it is hard to find any real variation at all. The music(?) is basically unstructured and full of dissonant frequencies that goes around in a seemingly endless circle of hateful noise. The monotonous, violent, screaming vocals doesn’t help matters too much either and to be honest, if the vocals are designed to frighten, they fail miserably. I always try to find something positive to say about bands but with Rape-X it was a bit of a challenge but in the end I found that I do see an audience for their disturbing electronic-sound but I wont be a part of it. So in conclusion, Ghäst mostly impress with their hybrid of doom, drone, and noise but Race-X left me bored and annoyed.
Ghast Rating: 3/5
Rape-X Rating: 1/5
Total for this split: 4/10

Ghast Official
Rape-X @ Myspace

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Posted May 19, 2011 by doommantia in Ghast, Rape-X

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