Disease Of The Mind
Scottsdale, United States
Disease of the Mind is Staytus’s latest release, an industrial goth-rock amalgamation that is devilishly naughties and grunge at times. Disease of the Mind brings together sounds from across a wide span of genres but has honed them into an identity that is loud, brash and utterly unique. If you have been waiting for the revival of Goth-Metal, the wait may be over. Joining the fray comes Staytus and they are not sitting still, not for one moment.
The album, fittingly, opens with ‘Absolute Terror’ a song that belts it and means business. If you thought that generic goth was Staytus’ game then you were mistaken. Experimental rhythmic bleats start the song with some offbeat plucks that are gritty and metallic. Then the bass builds with the vocals as we are led down the dark hole to a drum-heavy track that pulls you in with its complex and punchy fills. The chorus is fortified with a powerful guitar that is as metal as metal gets as the vocals sit proudly in the centre of the soundscape, letting the tones wash over them, as the song builds and crashes with an attitude that is encapsulating. The album has been set up in true goth fashion, and it gets bigger and bolder from here.
‘An Echo in Space’ is grungier than its predecessor with Nirvana-Esque lyrical melodies surrounded by the percussive stylings that even after just one song are distinctly Staytus. The dark synth in the back adds layers of thick angst to the track that features textural vocal shouts which set the song on fire with tone. ‘Arrhythmia’ follows and is up there for my pick of best song on the album. It brings together the goth punk stylings, great lyrics and a drum beat that just rocks, simply put. The vocals scream and the chorus has been in my head for hours. The bass melody is so bouncing that I can already picture waves of concertgoers moshing to it. ‘Crawling’ brings down the pace for a second, with some plucky bass and massive drums. The vocals are conversational and build the song with gritty lines and textures all the while the guitar pulls the song together with dissonant riffs that harmonise perfectly with both the percussion and flat-out dark vibe.
How can a guitar harmonise with a vibe you ask? Well, listen to songs like ‘Don’t Die’ with its clipper drums and tom rolls, ‘Hourglass’ with its synth-style textures and ‘Really Gone’ with its base-heavy pull, then come back to me. Without the exemplary guitar composition, Disease of the Mind would have fallen by the wayside with many other albums, but the guitars’ precise melodies and tones that change from song to song are paired with the tracks’ attitudes like blood red wines, pulling the whole album together.
Other highlights for me include, ‘Nevermore’ which takes inspiration from more modern tracks and is somewhat pop-like in its composition. Don’t be fooled, it's still deliciously dark and goth-centric, it just so happens to be a bop too. ‘Dreams from Hell’ is the song I would describe as “definitively Staytus” it pushes the limits of goth with experimental instruments, drums that are power-hungry, and vocals that reach the peak of their grunge screams.
Disease of the Mind proved to me that Goth isn’t dead. Especially Goth-Metal. Staytus shows us what can come from melding genres and taking risks. The album is a showcase of what is hopefully to come, by that I mean more Staytus equals more great tunes.