"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Gost - "Non Paradisi" (CD)

Gost - "Non Paradisi" CD cover image

"Non Paradisi" track listing:

1. Commencement
2. Nascency
3. Aggrandizement (feat. Bitchcraft)
4. Lake of Fire
5. Supreme (feat. Hayley Stewart)
6. 4th
7. Arise (feat. Kriistal Ann)
8. Maleficarum
9. Unum Infernum
10. I Am Abaddon

Reviewed by on October 11, 2016

"For something a bit different from the normal extreme metal that still exudes the same darkness, Gost's latest foray is highly recommended."

As we hit the final quarter of the year, there's still some sleeper hits landing just under the radar in the underground section of music, whether metal or otherwise. One such album is Gost's new synth-heavy release “Non Paradisi,” which is quite similar to – but definitely takes its own direction apart from – the absolutely superb Perturbator. That's perhaps no coincidence, as they are both Blood Music releases. While I can't stand how the lone guy beyond Blood Music is just constantly whining on Facebook about how hard it is to run a label and he never gets enough recognition (cue a new one now...), I do have to admit he has some killer material on his roster, so hats off you to you sir!

“Non Paradisi” scratches that synthetic darkwave itch, but in a very different way. There's a pulse pounding beat constantly laced throughout so the album has a somewhat “heavy” direction, even though this is all keyboard / synthesizer created music and not technically metal at all. “Lake Of Fire” has a really interesting sound, creating something like a dance vibe with an '80s twist that's more upbeat. “Supreme” also throws in some technical glitches and stutters for a very dystopian technological future feel. “4th” meanwhile brings out these chilling horror movie chimes, creating a sensation of the walls closing in on the listener.

The genre staple of ethereal female vocals is utilized for the story-type segments on “Aggrandizement,” “Supreme,” and “Arise.” Apart from those memorable additions, what stands out most here is the superb transitions. The shift from “Commencement” to “Nascency” is smooth as silk, and it's unlikely you'll even realize realize a track change has occurred even though the sound has morphed subtly in a different direction.

The simple fact that this is a darkwave album automatically creates a sci-fi / noir feel musically, but the storyline is actually more along the longs of traditional metal, with song titles like “Maleficarum” and “I Am Abaddon” in addition to voicevers about allegiance to the lord of darkness. If you haven't seen 'em yet, definitely do yourself a favor and check out the SNES / Sega Genesis inspired animated videos for the album, which just perfectly match the overall tone and sound.

For something a bit different from the normal extreme metal that still exudes the same darkness, Gost's latest foray is highly recommended. While the previously mentioned Perturbator album might be just a smidge better example of this style, “Non Paradisi” is still an excellent all-around release, and getting two stellar synthwave offerings in the same year from the same label is a welcome surprise.

Highs: This is some high quality darkwave with a noir feel and fantastic female vocal guests

Lows: A few of the songs are perhaps a bit too low key, and there's some repetition across the disc

Bottom line: Turns out you don't need guitars to be dark and heavy as Gost offers up a new stellar darkwave release.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)