Ghost Shirt Society by AntethicRelease date: April 2, 2017
Over the past few months, I’ve been realizing that I enjoy the more electronic elements in Post Rock. I feel that it provides an extra dimension to the music when executed to perfection. There are bands who have mastered this long ago such as 65daysofstatic, God is an Astronaut, sleepmakeswaves. Then we have Antethic.
They’ve been around since 2012 but only now, and thanks to some exposure and praise on various social media channels, their new album Ghost Shirt Society came to my attention and I’m very happy it did. The band is from Russia, a country which can be proud of being home for many great bands. Legendary Mooncake are a big influence for many bands out there and there have also been quite a few newcomers over the past few years eager to show themselves like April Rain, 417.3, I Am Waiting For You Last Summer, Show Me A Dinosaur, Trna and others.
As for their sound, it is far from glacial. It warm, welcoming and quite refreshing. It’s a healthy mix of the God Is An Astronaut electronics with some This Will Destroy You heavier and gazy elements of the last 2 albums and also a bit of Caspian here and there (especially when it comes to using guitar effects and pedals).
8 songs clocking in at 50 minutes, blending introspective passages with occasional borderline Post Metal heaviness, some electronica elements and unpredictability . Ghost Shirt Society is imaginative, fluid and is both discreet and intense (if that even makes sense).The tracks can be divided into three categories: the quieter; the louder and the more balanced ones.
‘Ilium’ fits perfectly in the first category. A slow paced and nice introductory track, showcasing the more ambient side of the band. ‘Fragments’ is another chilled one where you just feel like closing your eyes and drifting away.
‘Mudolor’, which starts off slow and laid back until the intense wall of sound hits; ‘Cascadia’, with its ambient start, heavy droney guitars, great synths creeping up in the background and the potent guitars at the end of the final track ‘The Moon Must Fall’ are all great examples of the heavier side of the band.
The more balanced tracks are where the money is at. For instance the upbeat ‘Metamachine’ with its glorious and precious guitar melody and still mixing in subtle electronics. ‘Tsunami Museum’ goes to a whole new level when guitars and drums kick in – it sends chills down my spine. Finally, ‘Sentinel’, a great combination of all elements the band masters, beautiful guitar work, great transitions, electronics… it just flows so well.
As a whole, the album is a highlight. It’s very diverse and it’s one of those records that keep throwing in very pleasant and creative surprises here and there. There is not one dull moment. It seems like the more you dig into this genre, which many people say is dead or repetitive, the more interesting and challenging bands you will find. Antethic are really good at throwing in little surprises here and there to keep things interesting and vibrant.
There is hope after all. We need more bands pushing the boundaries as there still is much more to explore. We can settle for quality but the experience is much more rewarding if we add originality, creativity, passion and adventurousness. Listening to this makes me want to check their back catalog but this album is keeping me way too busy. One of the best surprises of 2017 so far.