[Album Review] Ghostemane's 'Anti-Icon' Defies, Conquers Genres

Since his debut on the scene, Ghostemane has defied genre. Swerving wildly between hip-hop, metal, and industrial, his unique blend of aggression and precision has led to a crossover success in every scene he's touched. As he's previously said, "I'm too chaotic and my music's gonna reflect that shit." He was not exaggerating.

The newest venture from the Florida based (rapper..? band...?), Anti-Icon, doesn't just continue this trend. It takes it to the furthest possible boundary and then fires a shotgun blast through it.

The introduction track is a slow plodding industrial metal number That appears to be influenced by his time touring with 3teeth last year. From there we launch immediately into "Vagabond" which slams you from Ghostemane's signature high pitched staccato and some heavy riffs reminiscent of his roots in Florida thrash. The 2nd single of this album, "Lazaretto", is up next -- I've previously called it "the best Slipknot song I've ever heard" and I stand by that.

Following that we migrate back to more rap oriented tracks for a bit. "Sacrilege" starts out with a beat that would be right at home on a Nine Inch Nails song with plenty of raw lyricism over it. "AI" -- the title track of sorts and lead single -- will likely have some club longevity once the world reopens.

From here, things get increasingly varied. I don't want to give away every secret here but a personal highlight for me is "Hydrochloride" and its driving industrial metal beat. Classic Ghostemane fans will likely love "Hellrap" and its callbacks to his more original style. More old school goth types may recognize the cadence of "ASMR" as an homage to classic Manson track "The Dope Show".

While there's some serious genre whiplash here, it never feels unintentional. Ghostemane is able to transition masterfully between styles and utilize them in a way that will likely put him on album of the year lists for metal, industrial, and hip-hop all at once.

Anti-Icon is out now on all major platforms from Blackmage records.