Band/Artist Profile

Trapped in an 8-Bit Death Metal Realm

I can’t get out and I’m not sure I want to anyway. I’ve been stuck listening to two albums by an artist I’ve already mentioned on the blog here this semester, Gary Brents. This blog will dive a little bit into two other albums released by Brents this year: “Celestial Invocation” and “Astral Corridors“.

Just a little info on Brents if you haven’t read my previous article or if you forgot: he is a metal mastermind based out of Dallas, Texas with tons of projects that have been taking off recently like Memorrhage, Cara Neir, and this project, Gonemage.

Each of these projects focuses on a specific genre, sound or part of fantastical reality that Brents has created to explore his musical talents with. Using Gonemage as an example, Brents states it is “Rock/Metal/Chiptune convergence set in pixelated dream realms. Gonemage began as an alternate reality to my other project Cara Neir’s album Phase Out” (seen on Gonemage’s Bandcamp).

Celestial Invocation

This album’s unique qualities shine bright compared the darker depths explored in Gonemage’s other albums. It’s described as a “…lively pop space opera where the fate of planets hinge on an intergalactic basketball tournament” (again on Gonemage’s Bandcamp), and I don’t know if I could come up a more perfect setting for a space opera.

How in the world does anyone make music sound so majestic and thrilling all at once? One of my favorite tracks on this release is “6 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST“. It’s dreamy, hyper, explosive, bumpy, jumpy, pretty much everything I could want from an epic reality based on intergalactic basketball.

Astral Corridors

This is the the moody, thought-provoking, emo older sibling 9by like four months) of “Celestial Invocation”. It’s a little more metal and 8-bit musically centered, but it has so many differences it feels like a completely different human being made this music.

If you take the time to look through the album descriptions in Gonemage’s discography, then the seemingly convoluted story descriptions become clear and fun to experience. Each of these albums has a set protagonist working through some Sci-Fi or Space Fantasy epic saga, which are all a pleasure to absorb.

My favorite track on this album is either “Dream Surfing in the Astral Corridors” because it sounds like high-tech Freddy Krueger on another mission of evil murders in the VR apocalyptic world we’re sure to see soon, or “Purple Lurker Bedside” because it sounds like a mish-mash of Grimace, the “Purple People Eater”, and “The VVitch” mashed together in an impossible conglomerate of cyberpunk horror.

I know Halloween is over, but if you feel like escaping into a dark fantasy world through music or basketball based space opera, then I know which albums I’d recommend to you.