“In case you do not know me now, I do not need you to, then” Ghostemane rasps on’AI’, the lead single from his newest record,’ANTI-ICON’. It is a lyric that sums up the Florida-born rapper, a forward-thinking outsider whose barbarous amalgamation of both horror-inspired hip-hop, caustic alloy and snare shows very little respect for genre borders. Purists shouldn’t enquire.
Regardless of his origins in hardcore punk, the rapper, real name Eric Whitney, appeared throughout the Soundcloud boom of recent decades, releasing a ton of albums, singles and collaborations in rapid succession. Like all his coworkers, his lyrics had been rife with disillusionment, anger and anxiety; musically, however, Ghoste was enjoying a nightmarish, metallic colour. From 2017’s’Hexada’, also 2018’s’N / O I S E’, he had augmented his bassy noise with destroyed industrial alloy and sterile guitars, sounding as though he had pitched his Nine Inch Nails and Three 6 Mafia records in a meat grinder also cranked the deal, churning from the bowels.
Eight album’ANTI-ICON’ finds him take another step. Ghoste’s loose-tongued rhymes run bands ‘Vagabond’ and’AI’, but a lot of these tracks exude farther toward metal compared to rap. ‘Intro Destitute’ sets the tone with a nightmarish drone with drums and bass which thump and accelerate, before disintegrating to a Code Orange-influenced walls of frayed drums along with claustrophobic electronic equipment. ‘Lazaretto’ nods into the metal toe-capped savagery of both punk and hip duo Ho99o9’s. Meanwhile, about’Calamity’, instead of keeping a sustained outspoken assault, ” he raps at quickfire bursts, steered by violent eruptions of guitar.
It had been Ghostemane’s penchant for horrorcore that originally put him aside, and monitors such’Hellrap’ — that sees him murmuring,”I only need to kill someone,” over chilly, John Carpenter-style sounds — are all splattered with gruesome vision. He excels in producing banning moods and air, but there is vulnerability too — several of these tunes chart his comeback from an addiction to opiates. “I am fed up with all the medication / Fed along with all the imitation romance,” he raps over skeletal piano along with bass ‘Fed Up’ But on’Melancholiac’, that sees him station Nine Inch Nails classic’The Downward Spiral’ and money himself”the poster child for absence of emotional health’, he asks,”Can I too fucked up to see? / I need to be happy today, do not you believe?”
‘Falling Down’, the album’s closer is the most astonishing track of — only Ghoste alone using a bare-bones strummed guitar and a soul filled with harm:”Doubting myself / Morbidly aware of how that I felt… I trust you found a way to forgive yourself.” For an artist with revelled in gruesome vision and higher idea, this seems like a surprise glimpse behind the curtain, and another sonic border crossed.
release date: October 21
Record tag: BLACKMAGE RECORDS