Stream Ghostemane’s Strange New Metallic Goth-Rap Album Anti-Icon
Ghostemane is a truly weird figure, one who occupies his own corner of the musical landscape. A few years ago, Ghostemane emerged from the South Florida SoundCloud-rap lane. Even then, he was a nervous and mysterious figure, one who used textures from metal and industrial music in his stuff. But Ghostemane still seemed to fit with the context of the moment. He collaborated with rappers like Pouya and the late Lil Peep, and his occult aggression was rooted in ’90s-era Three 6 Mafia as much as any snow-blasted black metal auteurs. But since the time I wrote a 2017 rap column about him, Ghostemane has kept moving, and I’m not even sure he’s a rapper anymore.
Today, Ghostemane has come out with the new album Anti-Icon, his follow-up to 2018’s N/O/I/S/E. Since then, he’s experimented with hardcore and pushed his voice in different directions. On Anti-Icon, Ghostemane has gone further into those realms, and it’s more of a digital metal album than a rap one.
Ghostemane still raps on Anti-Icon, sometimes, but he also whispers and rasps and gargles and howls. The production veers into Nine Inch Nails trudge-lurch riffage and seething 808-driven noise-rock. These days, Ghostemane’s closest musical peers might be Code Orange, the neck-cranking Pittsburgh metallic hardcore band. As with Code Orange, there’s some Hot Topic cheese to what Ghostemane does. But if you have a high tolerance for that stuff — or if you actually like that stuff — then there’s a lot of stuff on Anti-Icon that might be of interest. On first listen, I’m not sure how much I like Anti-Icon, but I know that I’m going to come back at least a few more times. Check the album out for yourself below.
Anti-Icon is out now on Ghostemane’s Blackmage label.