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Today we’re going to talk about an album that has become quite a disappointment for me, despite the fact that I liked almost all the previous releases of this artist. In particular, his previous album HEXADA was one of my most favorite albums of 2017, especially in the genre of aggressive new-school rap. What I really liked about it was the combination of hip-hop flow and industrial stylistic details that really made the album stand out among all the rest. As for the current album, I doubt that it’s the best in his career; thought I admit that the level of experimentation was more than high here, which is a plus for sure. In short, it’s up to you whether to listen to this album or not; though I’d rather not listen to it in future. Here’re my reasons why.

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Ghostemane is a young rapper from Florida, famous for his aggressive and fast-paced flow and use of really noisy and industrial insturmentals for his tracks. In my Russian-speaking channel I reviewed his previous album Hexada, which I really liked and with this album I expected something more noisy, more aggressive, more industrial, while preserving the hip-hop styles of Ghostemane that have made him famous in the first place. So, let’s see what we’ve got in reality.

It’s 10th album of Ghoste called N / O / I / S / E, which is an abbreviation from the line “No One Is Safe from Evil”, while the cover art for the album features a picture of hand covered with multiple scars and holding a bonesaw, on which the album’s title is written with “blood” (I suppose it’s not real blood, right?). All in all, the album’s title and its cover art suggest that the album will depict dark and aggressive themes featuring symobls of self-harm, pain, blood etc. And having listened to the album, I’d like to say that it delivers in full on this promise.

The atmosphere of the album is more than dark, depressive and full of self-tortures. However, when having looked to the album’s lyrics more attentively, we can see that there’s not much too it in terms of depicting actually strong or even shocking themes associated with the aforementioned vibe of the album. The lyrics tend to depict feelings of loneliness causing addictions, mental disroders, occasions of self-harm etc. I don’t know why it is the case here, but I really feel like these themes are being delivered more like artificial, creative concepts than the actual life experiences (though I won’t doubt if the depicted actions happened in Ghoste’s real life, ’cause I don’t know for sure).

In other words, the atmosphere of the album is great but I cannot say that the lyrics about self-mutilation, BDSM, blood, suicide, addictions etc. were delivered on a high level in order to emphasize it even more. What is more important, I remember when the last album was full of esoteric, religious and other creative symbols complementing the overall lyrical framework of the album. Here it’s not the case. I think that this album was supposed to represent raw feelings of Ghoste and depict his depressive, addictive and suicidal tendencies, but in reality the actual lyrics didn’t work for me.

And it’s not only the lyrics, it’s the musical content, as well. Dunno, maybe it was the problem with my headphones or with my music playing app, but the biggest flaw of the musical content here is the mixing and mastering. Of course, the strange noises, the overdriven bases and use of live guitars, drums and extreme vocals worked on a decent level. However, the actual placement of the vocal lines behind the instrumentation didn’t do any good to the album. Traditionally, from aggressive music willing to depict aggressive messages, the vocals are being put upfront to create this feeling of kick and punch to the listeners’ ears with every line and/or scream. Maybe that’s why the lyrics of the album didn’t work great for me – because they were hidden behind the noisy instrumentals.

The original Ghostemane’s flow is here, his changes of flow from low-pitch/slow tempo to high-pitch/high tempo are still there and still create and impression that Ghoste’s flow represents both of $uicideboy$ flow performed by one person. I’m also quite impressed by his clean singing, which we can hear in the opening intro track and occasionally in the rest of the tracks throughout the album. Occasionally, I didn’t like the overall repetitiveness of the beats (of course, it’s rap, but it was sometimes too repetitive). Especially in track “Flesh” featuring these kick-drum rolls and noisy breakdowns. It’s sad that they were not developed into fully aggressive metal or noise track; instead they were followed by rather bizarre bass buzz, which made me laugh and be like “WTF was that?” I’m also quite uncertain about the instrumental track “Androids dream of electric sheep” and acoustic closing track. To be honest, I cannot say I liked them or not.

Nonetheless, as I’ve said, I appreciate the fact that Ghostemane tries his best to create something new and merge noise/metal and hip-hop music. I admit that the very fact that this album made me uncertain about whether I liked it or not already makes it worth your attention. However, I’m more than sure that with better mixing and more careful song production, this album would have been better. For now it’s 3 out of 5.

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