Fetch: Iron Trees & Careless Gods



So I have to admit that I’m really biased in this album review. It would be like if I met a redheaded girl, who was into art, had a nice ass, was super affectionate, was funny, and liked to go on spontaneous adventures. I would already be proposing, because I’m a weak and foolish man. So when a Russian record label contacts me, who makes dark synth music, composed of some punks and metal heads; I’m already a fan.

So to clarify, I have this sperg like fascination with Russia, it started around 2004/2005 with the release of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Call of Duty 2 (specifically the Stalingrad campaign). I got super into Russia. From the Tsars, to the Soviet Union, to Putin, to Russian myths, Russian films, and then later as I got older into Russian literature.

Why I am so interested in Russia? I don’t know. Maybe because Russia is like microcosm of the rest of the world. Maybe because it’s history is so tragic. I have no idea.

Take for instance Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the first chapter has this brooding, feverish atmosphere that constantly has you on edge. All most any other book, or movie would be like, “Okay this is a little bit too heavy, let’s lighten the mood.” So in the next chapter when you meet this drunk at the bar, you think, “Oh this guy is going to be the comic relief.” No. He is not. This is a Russian novel. He then tells the saddest story that has ever been told, about how he married a women with tuberculosis, is living in poverty, got a job, lost it due to his drinking, which caused his daughter to become a prostitute, and his kids are starving. Mind you, this is only chapter 2 of a really long book.

I say all of this, because if anybody is going to make dark brooding music that is incredibly intense, it’s going to be a Russian. Fetch’s Careless Gods is an album that makes most dark synth bands look like edgy teenagers.

Take the first track, Iron Trees, already it hits you with this bomb drop of despair. The synths are so distorted–the ambient noise constantly has you on edge–it’s the sound equivalent of leaving a bomb shelter after an atomic war. The sound never really lets up on the despair, it never really gives you room to breathe, even the choir synths give this haunted atmosphere. Everything about this song is just perfect–it’s the sound I’ve been dying to hear.

The next track Careless Gods is so perfect. The guitars are fucking amazing. Like there is this played out idea that Darksynth, with it’s satanic imagery, has black metal influences. Which most of the time is nonsense, because the guitars literally sound like something you would hear from Poison. Think of all the black metal bands with their incredibly distorted guitars, do most darksynth band’s guitars sound anything like that? Not often. It sounds so polished, and so clean that it loses any of the darkness that they could have gained. Then there’s the synth which creates this eerie ambience, and it’s literally the best slasher movie music–for a movie that doesn’t exist–that I’ve ever heard. It’s so menacing and daunting. Then when you hear the samples and the brief bits of percussion it creates this cat and mouse kind of anxiety. Where you know there’s this menacing looming threat near you, yet you can’t escape it.

Sadly there is only two tracks on this album, I wish I could review more of the albums on this label and write more about it, but it would be a bit unfair to the other indie artists who are waiting for reviews. Yet I ENCOURAGE YOU to check out the rest of this label’s music. I am a sucker for this sound, and the dark gloomy atmosphere of this label’s aesthetic.

For being an album solely comprised of all things I like, I’m obviously going to give this album my recc.

Also as a bonus here is there music video which is so perfect, and it’s just scenes of them driving around Siberia. I mean come on, do you think I’m not going to love this?

Wraithwalker: Hellscape 2X19



Nothing is better than your first time. That first time you take that hit, that first time when you get drunk, that first time when you first get laid; nothing is better than your first time. Then you try to get the same feeling that you had the first time–euphoric recall is what’s it called–and then you realize…nothing is better than your first time. Until it happens. When all the stars align and you’re at the right place at the right time. Where that high is just as good as your first high, that buzz is just as good as your first buzz, and you finally hookup with that 9/10 girl that everybody oogles at.

Wraithwalker’s Hellscape 2X19 is the synthwave for the connoisseur, and the novice. The addict looking for a new vein and the person who just wants to try something new. If you want to know about synthwave this album is probably the best place to start.

The reason I say is pretty simple, kind of like how Bubba in Forest Gump went on a 10 minute dialogue about the varieties of shrimp there were. The same can be said of this album and the variety of synths used: there are bell synths, oriental plucking synths, choir synths, synths that sound like they’re in some weird science experiment, synths that are fat and pulsate, synths that are thin and pierce, synths that arpeggio, synths that bleep, etc. you get the idea. There’s such a variety of different sounds and textures that Wraithwalker uses that brings synthwave to an almost orchestral level.

So due to the variety of synths used each song pulsates, and mutates into a different sound. The best way to describe a single track, and in particular the song structure of each track, is to compare it to The Simpsons. Not the modern garbage Simpsons but the classic 90’s Simpsons. In those classic episodes the humor was so organic, and the plot would be, say based on Homer eating protein bars to get into shape to earn the respect of Bart, and then it would end up with him climbing a Mountain. Never once when watching the episode you notice how the plot changed from one point to another. The same can apply to Wraithwalker’s Hellscape 2X19. Listening to the beginning of one song, and then the ending of the same song, you feel like you’re listening to an entirely song–except that you’re not. Wraithwalker does such a fantastic job introducing new elements into his songs, which in turn slightly alter the sound, and then gradually changes into something completely different; that you can’t help but admire Wraithwalker’s technical ability.

Like how the song structure is this shifting, pulsating, morphing sound; so too can it be applied to the album. The album itself if it were to be compared to anything is like a great open world video game. Let’s take Fallout: New Vegas, my personal favorite open world game. So in a Fallout game there are certain things you know aren’t going to be in it. You’re not going to slay the dragon to save the princess. You’re not going to kill Hitler. You’re not ever going to ride a skateboard. Etc. But within the world of Fallout: New Vegas you can solve a murder mystery, join a Roman Legionary, flight aliens, stop a secret society of cannibals, etc. Likewise each song in Wraithwalker’s Hellscape 2X19 contains it’s own episodic sound. It’s set in the Open world of all of Synthwave music and each song explores the best possibilities of that world, while rejecting the worst aspect of it, such as the stale stock drumming with occasional tom fills, using only 3 synths per song, uninspired song structure etc. You get the idea.

Wraithwalker really has their ear close to the ground, you can almost hear all of synthwave condensed into this album, and with their refined taste you get a “Best of” compilation album, that highlights the very best the genre has to offer. It’s the album that people who have listened to synthwave for awhile can listen to and say, “Oh, I remember this music is great, that’s why I liked this genre of music.” It’s synthwave perfected.

So for anybody who wants to get into synthwave, or someone who is tired of mediocre artists clotting up the scene, then please check out Wraithwalker’s Hellscape 2X19. I give this album my recc.