You probably know Eric Whitney better as Ghostemane, but there’s more sides to him than the industrial, scuzzy take on trap that he’s become popular for.
Not one to rest on his laurels, with multiple projects on the go, genre-hopper Ghostemane has revitalised his black metal project, Baader-Meinhof, just one of his ties to the hardcore and metal scene. Following on from 2019’s ‘Evil Beneath A Veil Of Justice’ EP, this is the second release under his Baader-Meinhof moniker.
‘Evil Lives’ has an eerie acoustic intro before the fuzzy guitars and crashing noise come in, marking this out as being very much from the lo-fi Burzum and Darkthrone school. Whether it’s meant to sound polytonal is down to Whitney himself, but it’s one example of how it can be an uncomfortable listen in the best possible way.
Some very minimalist synth patterns are also applied, before a final wave of cacophony comes in. The song still slowly repeats and fades away, but not without bringing the claustrophobic nature to the fore.
‘Stuck In The Hard Place’ has a synth pattern that lulls us into a false sense of security before a very different rhythm comes in for the first explosion; here, the screams come in as fuzzy and warped as you could possibly make them. The acoustic break and the synth-driven break add an extra layer of depth to things, keeping you guessing.
‘To The Grave’ comes in sounding closer to punk, ending suddenly as a track proper, but a clean guitar outro plays us out, summing up a very short but very sweet dose of chaos. And when the song’s mighty riff comes in before the clean outro, it’s arguably the EP’s peak, and it could even be extended longer for more of a direct impact.
While it’s very much on the short side of length proceedings, the sophomore Baader-Meinhof EP has given a near-perfect fix of claustrophobic, lo-fi black metal.