Music, one of the most expressive things we, as humans, can create. It can convey mood, feeling, raw emotion, and varying degrees of sadness and joy. It can be a source of entertainment, a display of art, a political statement, or a platform to speak plainly about the darker side of life.
One thing is for sure, when conveyed properly, it can be devastating. Sometimes, an idea can become a project, and in turn can become a war cry. In the right setting, it can become an uncontrollable beast, that just demands to be heard. This is one of those times.
What started life as a live set for the Roadburn 2021 Redux online event, has become so much more than just that, a one-off set. It has been reworked into an absolutely gut-wrenching account of an incident, committed to record, for all to share, of a catastrophic experience. The subject matter is dark, as is the outpouring of sound, and it recounts the assault of GGGOLDDD’s enigmatic vocalist Milena Eva, many moons ago.
It’s a hard listen, not because the music is in any way unlistenable, but the recounting of the story is so hard to hear, and the thoughts and feelings after, can only be imagined if you haven’t been in that position personally.
The album is entitled This Shame Should Not Be Mine, and never has an album so aptly been named. A deplorable act, followed by trying to tentatively rebuild, accept, and understand all of the emotions after the said event. Ultimately, it’s a battle cry about feeling empowered, and taking that injustice away from ever feeling that you’re responsible for the actions of another.
As a long-term fan of GGGOLDDD (formerly just GOLD), this is a very personal account, and when I was first made aware of what the subject matter was, although I knew it would be from personal experiences, this seemed far more a private subject to be sharing. That’s the thing with GGGOLDDD though, they never shy away from confronting any of the traumatic events from the members lives.
Over the course of the ten tracks, the story unfolds chronologically, from the initiation, the set up, and it runs through to the cathartic end point. It sets the scene, and runs its path, eloquently monologued by Milena through song, with a nightmarish soundtrack.
Completely essential, undeniably intense, and thoroughly overwhelming…
In true GGGOLDDD style, it pulls on musical idea’s from right across the spectrum. It’s an evolution sonically, but by no means a departure. If you know the band, you won’t be disappointed at all, and if you don’t know them yet, you should.
Pulling in everything from mood driven, Portishead ‘esque down tuned monologues, to breakbeat drum passages, and vicious guitar interludes, this truly is a rollercoaster. The hellish storyline is ever present, and the music is used to drive the intensity of emotion and opinions.
Tracks such as Notes On How To Trust, are just monumentally incredible, and the mix of post-metal with electronica is sublime. It’s visceral on the breaks, and during verses it hits on those Portishead vibes. This is especially true of title track, This Shame Should Not Be Mine, where a revival of trip-hop aesthetics help to drive home the feeling of despair and introverted understanding.
On You gives feelings of a confrontation with the attacker, and a truly scathing verbal outpouring. Over the sparse synthetic soundscape, line’s such as ‘you put your filth on me, I will shake off that dirt’ really give for a cathartic experience indeed. A strangely beautiful and somewhat chanted performance really encapsulates just how incredible a vocalist Milena is. It’s sombre, and haunting, mesmerising, and heart numbing.
Beat By Beat takes on a real call to arms, empowered ‘fuck you’ ending to proceedings, to finish on a real high. It’s fast paced electronic, interlaced with pounding drum, thunderous bass, and screeched guitar, is truly euphoric. As it cascades away into nothing, there’s a feeling of finality and a breath of release.
Ultimately, This Shame Should Not Be Mine is a wake-up call. It’s a call to all of those who have been through a similar experience. It’s a unifying, empowering, statement. Like any heartfelt music, if you can reach out, and feel that you’re not alone, and how you feel is understood, and appreciated, then that should prove great solace indeed.
Above all, it’s a statement, it’s a condemnation, it’s a line in the sand to an event you were never invited to experience, and that you won’t sit silently. Powerful, absorbing, and emotional, this truly is a heartfelt outpouring. Completely essential, undeniably intense, and thoroughly overwhelming.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish