Ghost Light

Galaktik Cancer Squad

GALAKTIK CANCER SQUAD (GCS) has been in being since 2011 as a Progressive and Black […]
By Joellen "FreshMetalGal" Patterson
July 15, 2013
Galaktik Cancer Squad - Ghost Light album cover

GALAKTIK CANCER SQUAD (GCS) has been in being since 2011 as a Progressive and Black Metal experiment. Who are "they?" - One multi-talented German artist, Argwohn. Hypnotic Dirge has recently released GCS's fourth full-length album. Very impressive for a one-man band! "Ghost Light" is the first physical and digital release. Should you listen and like, please take notice. His label has only produced 500, so if you want a copy for your collection, hurry. Now, let's take a twisted journey together, shall we?

"Ethanol Nebula" jettisons one through unimpeded space, with only a breath barely to be caught about halfway through. There are occasional harsh vocals that take away from the artistry. How do I know? My headphones malfunctioned on first listen and I fell right into an album that appeared to be entirely instrumental. Upon headphone change and second listen, the vocals revealed themselves as only a distraction. It takes artistry and skill to play anything this fast without sounding like a cacophonous train wreck. Any opportunity to focus upon what is being played is welcomed. Without the vocals on this track it is a beautifully twisted swirl of rage. With vocals, a great deal of the magic is gone.

Instrumentally, "When The Void Whispers My Name" is the one of the highlights of the album. The medium tempo of the intro shows us an almost Folkish riff. A soul-sucking duet interspersed throughout was a great distraction. This track ramps up the tempo, but not as much as its predecessor. At 7:00 we see dramatic change in tempo with the melodic relative of the initial riff. A tremolo soon follows, reminiscent of a Greek / Russian folk tune, fading to the end. If "Nebula" made your head spin, then this track will certainly give you a better chance to hear Arwohn's artistry. If you have the chance, listen to it first.

"In Lichterlosen Weiten" (loosely translated to "in loose wide lights", yep Google Translate came up with that) launches us again into a helter-skelterish tempo and an immediate black rasp of poetry. 3:49 provides an acoustical cruise with guitar and drums. Again we arrive at a showcase of Arwohn's melodic skill and folk tremolo. Another melodic moment arrives at 7:35. Here we can observe more clearly the keyboards. It's a beautiful segment that presents an image of a slowly turning spectral display, followed by a jump back into the harsh reality of hard-driving tempo and black poetry. Through the end, there are surprising turns between legato, melodic phrases and prestissimo, harsh ones.

The title track, "Ghost Light", is seven minutes of unrelenting drive. Again, the spoken rasp distracts. The words, as in all thus far, are not intelligible. Cannot help but wonder if it would have made a distinct difference if they were. Arwohn has more than enough passion in his instrumentation without vocals. The last minute settles into a medium tempo of melodic riffing, setting us up for the launch of the last track.

"Hypnose" seems most likely to get replay abuse. It's another wild ride. The riffs and tempo are very catchy. We hear an electric guitar melody peek in and out of the track that sounds very much like a Middle Eastern melody. Arwohn plays the drums with such fury that one could almost envision the Muppet Animal playing, but with great control and skill. It's not a ride of rage, but of climactic proportion. 7:17 begins the slowing of the whirling dervish releasing into a trance state. By 10:00, we are in fevered whirl mode once again.

Arwohn may hate us all (see his website), but one thing is clear. He loves his music. He is passionate and skilled. If you like black metal (mostly instrumental), then this album is worth the aural workout. Grab your towel, your water bottle and jump right in.

7 / 10


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"Ghost Light" Track-listing:

1. Ethanol Nebula
2. When The Void Whispers My Name
3. In Lichterlosen Weiten
4. Ghost Light
5. Hypnose

Galaktik Cancer Squad Lineup:

Argwohn - All Instruments

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