Evolution without maturation
If there exists one thing that GosT has surely excelled in, it would be demonstrating a very clear, linear trend with respect to the character of his musical output. Skull, his first album released in 2013, provided listeners a more stripped down, only-the-essentials array of synth offerings. Since then, it would be difficult to refute the postulate that each of GosT’s albums have garnered more substance consequentially, leading the artist further into a very niche corner of the dark synth genre. This is where Valediction finds its place among the artist’s discography.
The album exhibits an obvious shift in character, though not unexpected. Always embracing the dark aesthetic that very well characterizes the artist himself, GosT does not fail to do so with this release. Previous albums have been inevitably leading to Valediction’s show of just how dark and loud the artist’s output could be. Blast beats take center stage from the beginning of the album, and more than ever before, listeners witness GosT asserting a far heavier, more metal-leaning character. This clear embrace of metal is inarguably apparent in tracks such as “Timeless Turmoil,” and the album-opener, “Relentless Passing.” Defined by vigorous blast beats, “relentless” is an understatement. However, others on the album, including “Push” and “Bloody Roses” hearken back to the more synth-focused nature of his previous releases. One could surely go as far as to say that these tracks display elements of dark, ’80s synth influence. Underlying beats are almost reminiscent of elements that make up work by the likes of Depeche Mode or New Order.
Resultantly, for those that enjoy the crossing of genres, there could be value found in Valediction. However, it would not be absurd for others to deem this amalgamation unconvincing. While it’s certain that one could trace the distinct trend in the development of GosT’s musical output, it would be a misnomer to label this as true “growth.” The artist finds unsubtle ways to implement musical influences throughout, but listeners may find that there exists little variation in the complexity and innovation of the album’s sound. It’s surely robust in the noise arena but ultimately is unsubstantial in true musical offering or display of maturation. Having reached what seems like a peak of sorts, Valediction reasonably leaves listeners wondering what direction GosT intends to assume with future releases.