Last September, the creature known as GosT passed by our virtual pages twice: the first on the occasion of the vinyl reissue of the 2013 EP Skull and the second thanks to the interview with Baalberith about the tour with Mayhem and Gaahls Wyrd, as well as the future of the project. We already knew then that a record was coming and we had the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with two of the new tracks: my favorite “She Lives In Red Light – Devine” and “The Call Of The Faithful – Faithless”, both contained in the new edition of Skull, the first of which featuring vocals. GosT made its debut as a totally instrumenta synthwave project — or, to put it in Baalberith’s words, electronic heavy. Some tracks with a vocal line then began to peep over time (for example “Garruth” in Possessor, out just a year ago) and so far nothing strange, if it were not that at present we find the voice — at times a riot of screams and at other times as soft as velvet — in nine out of ten tracks of Valediction, released on October 4; the only entirely instrumental one being the aforementioned “The Call Of The Faithful – Faithless”.
At a first listen it is undoubtedly a bit strange to relate to the vocal lines, where we had become accustomed to a type of synthwave more similar to a soundtrack; for example the excellent “Maleficarum” from Non Paradisi, just to name one. The result, however, is definitely interesting and top-notch as well as revealing yet another trait of this multifaceted animal named GosT. In fact, if in the violent attack of “Relentless Passing” with its harsh cries it is impossible not to notice the very clear black metal influences (at a certain point it might feel like you’re listening to Burzum’s Filosofem), “Bloody Roses” reveals instead a more romantic side of the Skull, who sings «Your blood is wine when I taste you / Your body shines when I kiss you». “She Lives In Red Light – Devine” has a very particular sensuality that makes you think of romantic approaches on a dance floor, while “Push” has an exquisite early 2000’s flavor, the quality stuff though. The closing song “Severance” I would see suitable, more than the others, for accompanying some video game (it’s just an idea, I’ll throw it there) and I feel compelled to also mention “Dreadfully Pious”, the refrain of which is one of the most successful in Valediction. “Ligature Marks” was perhaps already familiar to you, having been one of the singles that anticipated the album.
Valediction really sheds a light on the vocal aspects of Baalberith, not simply finishing with the violence of the scream, but also able to produce beautiful and hypnotic lines, giving this record particular nuances between electronic and extreme music, thus making it — I say this with no fear — a great little gem. If the first approach with the album seems unusual and leaves you perplexed, do not worry: GosT is evolving, this time undoubtedly surprising us all, but if I said I was disappointed I would be lying shamelessly. For sure, I will now wait for the next effort with twice the anxiety and trepidation.