Monday, September 9, 2019

Golgotha - Erasing the Past

The Fart Collector

Back in February, I reviewed the terrible debut album from Dying Embers, and the main takeaway from that, to me at least, was that I thought I was super clever coining "mellowdeath" as more of a codified genre than a snide pejorative, describing their brand of synth-smothering quasi-doomy mid paced melodeath with shitty clean vocals.  The thing is, since I published that, it's actually been brought to my attention that really all I did was accidentally describe Sentenced.  After a quick skim of a handful of songs, I'll concede that yeah, Dying Embers had way more in common with Sentenced than In Flames.  My bad y'all.

Anyway here's the exact same style of album that I hated last time.  Spoiler alert: I still don't like it.

Admittedly that's kind of unfair, because Golgotha's fourth album (and first after a 14 year silence), Erasing the Past, isn't terrible, but it certainly suffers from a few gigantic flaws.  Musically, if we're going to put this up against Dying Embers (since they're fresh on my mind and I know their one album a hell of a lot better than the few Sentenced tracks I checked out in passing), it's significantly better.  The songs have a real sense of direction here, weaving stories of anguish that at the very least seem to have a destination in mind instead of aimlessly faffing about with a few ideas before moving on. The riffs themselves don't tend to be all that engaging but there are a few nice moments of pounding heaviness that rear their heads occasionally (namely on "Burning the Disease" and "Rewrite Your Destiny") and the drumming is particularly heavy on the toms, which keeps things appropriately pounding when they go for it.

The issue is that everything else is just... boring.  I said the riffs aren't all that engaging but that's honestly kind of overselling them.  They're mainly just slow chugs that sometimes pick up to a glib trot and that's about the extent of their creativity.  They don't weave evocative textures of any sort, though I feel like that was the intent.  The title track sounds like a slow version of Nevermore's "The Heart Collector".  I think that's a great song, but here it seems that slowing it down and stretching it to over eight minutes just makes it overwrought and tedious.  And man, the vocals are bad on that one.  They're never great, but they're serviceable throughout most of the album, with competent deep growls and deep baritone cleans (which frankly kinda sound hokey when they're not layered with anything else), but on the title track for whatever reason it sounds like the dude is trying to be some epic narrator and it winds up sounding so hilariously overblown.  That "I FEEEEL! YWOR HOOOORT!" literally sounds like That 1 Guy, it's hysterical.  The growls are usually fine too but for whatever reason, on "Enveloped in Fog" and only "Enveloped in Fog", they sound super strained and terrible.  I don't know what it is, but this album just has random tracks where the vocalist suddenly just completely sucks at what he's otherwise fine at, it's baffling.

Overall this is just boring, and I'm bored of it.  It's decently okay doom flavored gothic metal but it's neither entertaining nor evocative.  It's not even interesting.  It's just pure background music and I'm done talking about it.


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