Galaktik Cancer Squad
Ghost Light

The second best  release from Hypnotic Dirge’s recent offerings, you’d expect this to be a German crazy, industrial, off kilter black metal release based on that moniker and such. However, the band while in fact German, and is somewhat ambitious, they share more with the progressive, avant garde black metal movement of the mid 90’s, especially the likes of Fleurety.

Consisting of one man: Argwohn, Ghost Light is a pretty damn solid release that does everything right production and writing wise, takes a few chances, but never over steps its bounds within the more progressive black metal pastures. It’s perfectly progressive, not quirky or too eclectic. The balance between progressive, experimental atmospherics and melodic, tremolo riffs and a few stuttering, angular ebbs give the release a nice character that’s playful yet introspective and slightly dissonant, while still dressed in a predominantly black metal visage. The vocals are a mix of screams and deeper rasps, no clean croons, wails or over the top shrieks- as with the music,  its varied but not over the top.

Argwohn does a nice job of of delivering some really nice, harmonic and alluring riffs amid some more experimental structures and twists, but it all comes together very nicely such as  the nine minute “When the Void Whispers My Name” or  the 12 minute  “In Lichterlosen Weiten” (with some really nice melody lines and acoustic breaks, and the orchestral/bridge bridge around 4 minutes from the end is gorgeous) two of the 5 rangy songs  that standout on Ghost Light. The title track is also a solid number, but admittedly, being the fourth track on a pretty long, varied affair, requires a little more patience and attention to absorb as fatigue sets it, even more so for the 15 minute and very Min Tid Skal Komme-ish closer “Hypnose”. The track has a more jarring, edgy presence with less of an emphasis of pure black melodies, and is the albums most caustic (surprisingly so) track, and the fact it is an instrumental takes away some of the character also, but it shows Argwohn’s  versatility and ability to put the pedal to the metal if needed.

Another solid release from Hypnotic Dirge to go along with the outstanding Obsidian Tongue, and solid Frigoris and Oradnek Room releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 15th, 2013

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