Artist Spotlight - Cemetery Gates
The new album Ghostnotes and Grief Thief Records
Within the first few seconds of the song 'Home is Where You Hang Yrself' off of the album Ghostnotes, the slow burn sets in and you can feel your body start to drag through the muck and mud towards the Cemetery Gates.
Cemetery Gates are musicians Gene Priest and Derek Jones hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee. Aside from their love of 70s and 80s horror, they are both accomplished solo musicians that continually deliver heavy synth-laden projects continuously, seeming to never rest. The idea behind their collaborative project is to combine the feel of a horror film score mixed with the vocals and instrumentation of dark electronic pop and it works perfectly.
Ghostnotes is a deliberate, churning, ride filled with haunting melodies that stick with you for days after just one listen. Lyrically, we are dealing with some dark and heavy subject matter. Their words are meant to invoke a strong feeling and may open the door to a dark place in your heart. While still sounding very much like the darkest version of pop music available the feelings that Ghostnotes brought upon me felt almost paradoxical, I felt hopeful dread, ecstatic sadness, and thought-provoking nothingness. To feel so extreme, I knew that Ghostnotes was something special.
From a production standpoint, the album is mastered and crafted perfectly featuring booming live drums and the heaviest of heavy synth lines, that chug and churn, guiding you through the basement of every tune. I'd recommend listening with headphones to really hear every deliberate note that is delivered. Ghostnotes is available for streaming on all the major sites and on Bandcamp.
One thing that Cemetery Gates are doing that I am very excited about is they are now offering a subscription service through their Bandcamp and their record label Grief Thief Records. For the low price of $25 per year you get unlimited streaming of everything they put out. This is a very intriguing service and you don't see a lot of musicians using this format. The amount of music they are offering is huge and varied. They deliver new music monthly including rescored original horror soundtracks, bonus tracks for subscribers only, a fan community, and their entire back catalog. A truly great deal considering you get a year's access for the cost of maybe 3 albums. For more information about their subscription service, head over to their Bandcamp page linked below.
Gene makes music under the solo moniker Skeleton Beach. Derek performs under the name Circadian Rhythm Section. On top of the fantastic Ghostnotes both musicians have amazing solo albums out as well. Click their names to check out their Instagram pages.
For more music reviews, gear demos, and original music be sure to check out shelfblack.com.