Synthwave has long been a feature of sweaty continental rave clubs and dance music’s throbbing underground. Its brooding, heavy pulse attracts a multitude of fans spanning the genres and, in turn, this style of music has graduated from a curious hybrid of 80’s electro and darkwave to forming a rich, active scene.
Over the last few years, the genre scaled new heights with acts like Carpenter Brut and Perturbator finding their music heavily featured in films and video games and at this moment in time, it seems like the sound of the future is being drawn from the past.
Of course, as with any hot musical commodity, the Irish Independent music scene is right there with its the figurative finger on the pulse. Synthwave artists are popping up all over the country with massively stacked synths and punishing kicks aplenty, ready to bludgeon your senses with concentrated retro-power and a good dose of ultra-heavy modern electro.
One such act is Dublin’s Golgotha, who has just released his debut ep ‘The Old Gods Have Fallen’.
First impressions of Golgotha’s debut offering are those of gothic grandeur. From the impressive stone figure that adorns the ep’s cover to the roman numerals prefacing each track, you get the feeling that Golgotha is gearing you up for a monumental tale told through his music.
Abandon hope all ye who enter here because Golgotha is about to open the gates of hell.
From the doom-laden groove of ‘The Herald With Eyes Of Fire’ to the hectic splendour of the title track, Golgotha sets a fresh pace and builds intrigue and excitement. This is the cinematic underground like you might find in a John Carpenter movie but given a modern redeco and a shot of adrenaline for good measure.
The chaotic lullaby which is ‘Cursed Earth’ and the wasteland borne ‘Weeping Blood’ take the pace in a more deliberate direction, their wide-open soundscapes enticing the listener to imagine what kind of future cataclysms could have caused such hellish rapture.
Penultimate track ‘How do you like it?’ is a massive slab of sinister brutality, if this was a movie we would be at the point where all hope is lost. It’s a thrilling cinematic companion to the end of times which leads us to the big finish, the crunching ‘It Was Always You’, with its blustery synths and pulverising climax. A fitting end to a post-apocalyptic nightmare and an awesome introduction to the world of Golgotha.
With ‘The Old Gods Have Fallen’, Golgotha has crafted a dense and probing record that fully utilises the physics of synth-wave music to guide the listener through a broad spectrum of emotions. He knows when to bludgeon you with brute force but, crucially, he knows when to pull back and let you recover.
At times stark and harsh, at times unexpectedly elegant, ‘The Gods Have Fallen’ is a statement of intent from an artist at the start of a grand odyssey. It’s an ideal introduction to synth-wave music and puts Golgotha within striking distance of the Gods of the genre.
Download The Old Gods Have Fallen and find out more about Golgotha at Golgotha’s Lair.