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Gonemage – Handheld Demise

Handheld Demise
by Ricardo Casagrande at 24 October 2022, 4:45 PM

Galimgrim is from Dallas Texas and the project GONEMAGE started in 2021. It is an alternate reality to his other project CARA NEIR’s album Phase Out. The album is derived from an alternate reality and is influenced by old horror themed video games. It is the eighth release under the name from 2021 until the newest release Handheld Demise and has many guest musicians and vocalists on it, more than I would care to list! This is the third instalment in a trilogy, following Sudden Deluge and Mystical Extraction.

So, to get a good understanding of what to expect from this release, just think about any RPG (role playing game) style video game or old school video game you played as a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s and put a dark and frantic taste to them. Anyone who has played any Japanese RPG games can understand where this music is coming from. A lot of the music for these games were either symphony-based soundtracks or music featuring a lot of synch and keys. This album will not be for everybody. The first few tracks “Disdainful Stroke” and “Father Time’s Grandfather Clock” are prime examples of this with the last boss/great battle intensity. The lyrics are there but are not very understandable, more so to add intensity and the dark Death metal feel to the music. That aspect along with the video game synth battle seem to level out the music. “Weaponless Scream, Laughter Unseen” starts off as an up-tempo punk explosion before turning into a catchy melody with a pretty cool and simple guitar riff attached and also includes the memory of shooting off a laser gun in Mega Man.

“Slowly I Watch The Shockwave” is a pop rock anthem with audible lyrics that picks up the pace with some faster paced drumming but really does settle into the pop vibe. It is a confusing track up to this point. The album with this track takes a strange turn into a pop sync recording that is not bad but is something I looked forward to ending. “The Equation To Levitation And The Chase of the Blood Feast” includes some nice bass work and is a catchy tune all around while coming back to the more gamey aspect to the music. “Hallways Endlessly Resetting, Corpse Slide Wetting” opens like a true Death metal track with a melodic guitar and a smooth riding bass line and rapid paced drums before collapsing into a more computer generated second half to the track. “From Walls To Woods” relates to the style of game where the character is coving ground from castles and towns to the wooded paths and treacherous ground and ends off with duelling female lead vocals that slowly fade out.

As someone who grew up playing games like such, I can appreciate the effort and ability to turn these into more of a roaring beast, but I feel like it began to become old pretty quick. A lot of the heavy gaming sync tracks kind of blend together and lose impact after a while and I was not feeling the more pop influenced parts of the album. It did bring back some memories of late weekend nights gaming by myself and giving into my imagination (but who am I kidding I still do that now!)

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 2
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Disdainful Stroke
2. Father Time’s Grandfather Clock
3. Weaponless Scream, Laughter Unseen
4. Stairwell Of Gore And The Faceless Apparition
5. The Suffering And Endurance
6. Slowly I Watch The Shockwave
7. The Smelting Madman
8. Stranded In The Menace of Water
9. The Equation Of Levitation And The Chase of the Blood Feast
10. Hallways Endlessly Resetting, Corpse Slide Wetting
11. Dahan-dahang Nagpapababa
12. Chase Of The Daemon Glow
13. From Walls To Woods
Galimgrim – All instruments, sampling, production
Record Label: Independent


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