Ghostfeeder - Invited to the Murder
Released off label 2021
Synthrock and electropop project Ghostfeeder has had “Invited to the Murder” in the works for quite some time now. The events in 2020 led to Ghostfeeder cancelling his touring plans, and thus crowdfunded this album via IndieGogo. Rather than going cross-country or around the world to display both his technical skills and live showmanship, Ghostfeeder fed a steady trickle of singles to fans whilst he prepared the album for an inevitable release. It is funny to look in the past at the album’s history, then, to think that it was meant to be a free-to-download, surprise EP with a couple of guest musicians. But history has a way of changing things – sometimes for the better.
“Invited to the Murder” reads off as less a solo album and more of a fun, collaborative experience as Ghostfeeder brought a who’s who from the industry onto the project. For starters, every track on the album features additional drum performances from Galen Waling (Lords of Acid, PIG, Julien-K) and has been mixed by Amir Derakh (Orgy, Julien-K). The second track ‘Shapeshifter’ features guest vocals from Ryan Shuck (Julien-K, Orgy, Adema) and guest keyboardist Owen Mackinder (The Birthday Massacre, A Primitive Evolution) lends his touch to the track. What I got then is an enormous ballad of retro-sounding synths and electronic rock elements that are as emotive as they are powerful.
The collaborative fun continues with another standout track ‘Hello from the Void’, which features guest vocals from Alex Gonzales (By An Ion, Matte Black) and cello from Steph Misayo (A Primitive Evolution). Though there are chorus sections that are loud and in-your-face, what I appreciated about this song were the quieter segments. These melodic sections allowed me to experience Ghostfeeder’s technical prowess as opposed to the heavier elements on “Invited to the Murder”. Soaring synths are the lead instrument on ‘Scene Killer’ which features guest vocals from Peter Turns Pirate. A tremendous display of electronic rhythm given a rough touch as growling vocals throw a bone into the production. Lastly, the ever-wonderful Gen of Genitorturers lends their chords on the track ‘Elegant’. This is not the most boisterous track on the album, but it doesn’t need to be. Much like ‘Hello from the Void’, ‘Elegant’ displayed Ghostfeeder’s ability to do more with less thundering instruments. I was very fond of the drums on this track as they hit perfectly.
Collaboration efforts aside, the songs by Ghostfeeder performing solo are just as abundant in quality and fun as the others. ‘Fascia’, ‘The Dreamkeeper’, and ‘The Narcissist’ make up this chunk of the album. While all three are phenomenal on their own, ‘Fascia’ is easily my favorite. It starts off the album and is a four-and-a-half-minute intro to Ghostfeeder’s retro-inspired electro-synth-rock-pop music. I am a huge fan of the synth line that pops up first at the one-minute and nine-second mark and then reappears occasionally throughout the song. It melted my heart and gave me goosebumps. Well done.
I would say that the only song on the album that I’m not fond of is ‘Polyticks’. The music itself sounds like very standardized electronic rock and I couldn’t find a reason to come back to this track more than a few times on repeated plays. It does feature Brett Carruthers (The Birthday Massacre, A Primitive Evolution) as a guest vocalist, but the vocals aren’t the problem. Every time this track plays I just want to hop over it and get into something better, such as ‘Scene Killer’ or back to the beginning with ‘Fascia’.
From start to end, Ghostfeeder’s album is one of immense production and craftmanship. Despite my dislike for one of the songs on the album, every other one is wonderfully put together and holds together a thematic display of guitars, synths, and meticulous work. This is in-part thanks to the many other musicians found on the album. But if it was not for Ghostfeeder’s own understanding of both himself and his musical direction than the entire album would have flopped. Thankfully, that was not the case, and what we’re left with is a stand-out album for 2021. Seven-and-a-half out of ten!
While "Invited to the Murder" is not available yet, it will be out in both digital and limited edition CD formats on June 4th via Ghostfeeder's Bandcamp page. You can also check his music out on Instagram, Spotify, and Twitch.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
May 27 2021
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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