For the sheer animosity, striking structure, and the overpowering amount of ability; Ghostemane is a symbolic, adaptable, and incredibly peculiar individual in music. His newest release N/O/I/S/E is a collection of bass assaults, hardcore breakdowns, and fairly engaged, mangled twists and turns that coagulate into a solid addition to his discography.
There are moments on N/O/I/S/E that feel entirely as a modern Nine Inch Nails which in the long run is a tight comparison to the evolution of his music. As Ghostemane becomes more susceptible to different instruments and ultimately creates his own sound, there are many moments here where the album switches and follows no real genre. As the tracks move quickly and have multiple working parts, it is less traditional than most releases coming from Ghostemane previously and the progression that he shows continually through each release keeps the listener engaged and motivated to return.
Seeing a dungeon-styled track of “Nihil” with the distorted bass, the higher pitched vocals, and the wood block that creates the production. Then as it hits the midpoint and suddenly incorporates these screams and overdriven bass and snare slaps that feel more as a decision to hurt the listener than to invite them in.
As “Nihil” transitions into “Flesh”, Ghostemane is a shouting mess that falls to the floor behind the cascading bass and rattling hi-hat. He distorts his vocals more here on N/O/I/S/E and it adds this new layer that was untapped in his previous releases. The new additions and changes keep the harder sections a mangled display that becomes stuck in the recesses of the mind for the way that they can be such an immaculate display of belligerent power.
When the atmosphere kicks in however, Ghostemane delivers a well deserved break in the action. This is until the track “Trench Coat” or “Ballgag” jump into the mosh pit with this charged hostility that reflects in his lyrics. “Riding around town with no lights on, bumping Darkthrone out my Audi A4. Pentagram on my shawty torso, nails on my neck bout blood soaked” he describes on “Trench Coat” which also has references to Columbine and the Trench Coat Mafia.
As “Inside” then moves into the frame, the Nine Inch Nails influence comes directly through on this track and feels as it moved from The Downward Spiral with the synthetic hi-hats that clasp along with these raging synth chords behind it. This is a perfect example of taking influence and creating a deadly recreation of one of the better sounds of the 90’s.
Ghostemane is a solid artist that has created his own sound within the wave of modern artists. He is so left-field, so out in his own spectrum that it is difficult to tap into without having roots in darker metal or rap scenes. While his instrumentals are approachable for some, his lyrics and vocals can only match the crazed animosity of the music.