Synthwave Sunday

Synthwave Sunday: Irving Force, Godmode


It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Irving Force — The Violent Suppressor EP, released into the burgeoning dark synthwave scene in 2015 — but it sure is good to have the Swedish self-described “power-synth” artist back.

Irving Force is a through-and-through metalhead, and that influence is readily apparent on Godmode, his latest album. Sure, lots of synthwave is influenced by metal and there’s a huge overlap in fanbases between the two, but few artists in the genre go as balls-to-the-wall with distorted guitars and chugged rhythms as Irving Force. The album’s first two tracks stick to more traditional dark synthwave territory — big beats, slicing synths, thumping bass — so it’s not until “Send Him In” when those big, meaty guitars enter the equation. From thereon out the album is a straight up banger with the best of both worlds mixed into one, Irving Force’s specialty.

Not one to be pigeonholed, Irving Force takes a big creative risk with the album’s final track, “Wasteland,” a complete left turn into Ennio Morricone-esque Western territory, the first time I’ve witnessed a synthwave artist do so. Spaghetti Western music performed on synthesizers might sound weird — and it is! — but somehow it works really, really well.

Godmode is out now via JST Records; buy it here.

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