14 Dec 2021 - Pat O'
Dark Synth | Release date: 29 Nov 2021
Golgotha’s Eye Of The Beholder is both fascinating and disturbing. Relinquishing control to the dark side will bring you on the murkiest, nerve-racking journey imaginable. Dark synthesised atmospherics are the soundtrack to this never ending nightmare. Brace yourself!
We here at Veil of Sound stand by our motto of lifting the veil from underground music, and in doing so, we open an infinite spectrum of music, ranging from the calming strings of a neoclassical mantra to the spiteful and vicious verbal assault of a black metal tirade. Once again, this openminded approach led me down a dark but curious path, where I walked into the nightmare realm that is Golgotha’s “dark-synth” voyage, Eye Of The Beholder. This one-man project hails from the mighty Emerald Isle and Golgotha brings with him 15 tracks of fear and trepidation, that act like scenes to a play or a film, where you, and you alone, are the only character, or victim! This journey is fraught with all those misgivings you try to keep locked away in the back of your mind, but sometimes music can do the craziest things, and on this occasion, Golgotha has gained access to your worst fears and is now in control!
After the peculiar intro of “Forsaken”, the first real track is a horror filled, synthesised opening that brings “The Lords Return” to life. Piano keys are played over an echoed drum beat with some sonic and unnerving atmospherics playing with your senses. Distortion and a forceful tempo change brings some guts to the music, as drums clammer, before a vacuum of synths crosses your path, syphoning all its power and closing the track.
Mechanical and robotic sound effects, followed by dark brooding keys crawl slowly and apprehensively on “Eye Of The Beholder” before opening up to a swell of shapeless sounds. This is music that could have been used in every scene of the TV series, Stranger Things, such is the eighties vibes meshed together with the dark unknown. It’s cinematic in construction and almost bordering on a shady dance track that manages to hold back on just the right amount of energy so as not to combust.
“Fulfil The Prophesy” and “The Taste Of Fear” bring forth a dark synth avalanche, but with a more upbeat and trance-like passage. Techno nuances married with melancholic keys build on the atmosphere, all shrouded in mystery and the fear of the unknown. A dramatic tempo change carries with it moments of God Is An Astronaut’s vast, heavy hitting atmospherics to further the ambience.
Tracks like “Never Look Back” conjure up images of being lost in a dark and desolate wooded maze, with the sky above caving in on you through trembling branches and a thick rolling mist, while you try to worm your way out of this ever-growing nightmare. This sense of despair and panic rolls perfectly into the following track, “The Paths Of The Dead” with its more purposeful and highly charged synthesised urgency. Techno beats and high paced percussions bring on a whirlwind of turmoil, as you helplessly stumble through the forest in slow motion, all the time weighed down in concrete boots, under a bog of quicksand.
For me, trying to explain exactly where this music belongs is a difficult task, because it has a place, but not a place that everyone likes to go. Its dark undercurrents bring fear and paranoia, and personally, I love sensing these emotions when I’m engrossed in music. When you’re under Golgotha’s darkened spell, and you leave the gate to the furthest recesses of your mind slightly ajar, the journey through Eye Of The Beholder is both fascinating and disturbing. Relinquishing control to the dark side will bring you on the murkiest, nerve-racking journey imaginable. Those nightmares and phobias that are stored right down in the furthest corner of that cobwebbed basement within your subconscious, can be tapped into through this kind of music, and with that, the nightmare begins! You need to let go of your inhibitions to thoroughly enjoy this music, if not then the whole experience feels diluted and becomes a missed opportunity.
Tracks like “The End Is Nigh”, with its spoken samples are uncomfortable, and are a gateway to the track “A Miserable Little Pile Of Secrets”. It’s slow and patient build up is swarming in a sea of synths that follow and shadow you, never letting you out of sight. There are moments in this track where I hear Rob Zombie reverberating, and ironically, it’s that kind of sinister zombie figure you’re escaping from throughout this record. That same feeling of foreboding is carried into “A Sense Of Dread” and also the closing track “Call Of Golgotha”.
All in all, this is a dark synthesised nightmare that some will embrace, and others will fear. This style of music has its place in our underground network, and it’s great to see artists like Golgotha get to showcase what can be achieved as a solo project. The only criticism I can throw at this release is that it might labour a little at times, and maybe if shortened by a few minutes, the impact would have been greater, but that is taking absolutely nothing away from the quality and talent being shown. So, this Christmas, choose carefully what you wish for, because even though dreams can come true, so can nightmares!
Note: There is no Bandcamp page available, but it is free to stream on Spotify…..you know what to do!