The compositional themes on Ghost Bath’s Moonlover were grandiose, but with Starmourner, it is clear that they were just getting started.
At times Starmourner sounds like the soundtrack to an epically awkward party where the celebration includes free rides on a torture rack. At others, it is like a terrifying roller coaster ride where the festive ambiance can’t hide the immense fear. The results are mixed; at times, it is awe-inspiring, and others, confounding. The twin guitars that send “Seraphic” skyward are intense and anthemic, and “Ethereal” sounds at times like was plucked from a ‘90s gothic alternative track. That is, before the hopeless hollers begin mid-way through the track. “Angelic,” one of the album’s stellar instrumentals, is stripped-down and deliberate; it’s an exotic and emotive composition that is refreshing, yet eerily out of place amid the maelstrom.
Ghost Bath are truly an anomaly straddling the ditch between progressive and post black metal. When Starmourner works, it is breathtaking. When it doesn’t, it leaves the listener feeling as out-of-place as a Carolina redneck at a New York City cotillion.
Starmourner is out now on Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Buy it now.
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