One-man bands are an interesting thing. Whereas some of them are utter garbage that's been made just to fool around and sound like unspirited laziness, some of them are the spawn of a strong solitary vision that simply couldn't have been subjected to other people's corrosive ideas.
Ofghost, previously known as File Of Ghosts, is a Finnish solo-project. A few releases were published under the previous name and one earlier Ofghost-album exists, but this is the first time I remember hearing anything from this band. "Audiocorpse" is available as a professionally done CD-r and in free digital form at Ofghost's bandcamp-page.
These songs mainly mix death metal's heaviness and brutality with very appealing rock-groove to create a rough and heavy but very likeable flow of aggression. The palette is mixed through programmed drums, riffs suddenly becoming very akin to grindcore or d-beat, and through some both gothic and electro-synths that enrich the soundscape despite their rather usual sound. The guitar sound is raw in a black metal-fashion which might be a bit too much for people used to professional production values, especially since the already raw vocals have been made even rawer through a thick coating of distortion.
The programmed drums aren't even trying to hide their digital nature, but their sharp sound gives these songs a very suitable backing nonetheless - and when the other instruments and vocals are so harsh, perhaps the mechanical and somewhat soft drums are exactly what this soundscape need to keep from totally numbing the listener.
Everything on this album sounds rather demo-like, or something like a pre-production to a "more proper" album, but somehow it sounds like things are better this way. The album is both unified and unpredictable, and it's rough and merciless soundscape and total DIY attitude are overwhelming in a positive manner (although I wouldn't have minded if it had a booklet with some lyrics or such). Everything is over-the-top and the album knows absolutely no shame - and on top of that, the riffs are actually pretty damn good for the most part. Some compositions could've been shortened and the whole album is a bit too long for one sitting, though, which makes the songs' and their soundscape's attitude and appeal wear out too much towards the album's end.
"Audiocorpse" makes me all nostalgic about the days when I was just getting to know Finland's music scene, and especially reminds me of the DIY demo-bands I ran into back then. This kind of totally boneheaded metal-action definitely gets my respect, and I'm more than happy I got to hear this album. It's certainly not perfect, but it works great for clearing your ears and system after being subjected to an overdose of lame, over-calculated, dull, over-processed or otherwise frustrating music. Crush everything with a tidal wave of pure energy.
I needed this. Thank you!