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Sludge Metal Act Ghaust Release an Emotional Eulogy Album

A band tries to cope with the loss of a friend.
Photos courtesy the band.

It's always hard for a band to recover from the death of a bandmate. For Ghaust, it was impossible.

The experimental metal duo had built a steady fanbase in Southeast Asia on the back of one self-titled record, a slew of split EPs and a relentless live show. But when drummer Edward "Edo" Predico was killed in a tragic head-on collision last May, the pain of losing a best friend and creative partner was too much for guitarist Uri Putra.

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"His passion for music was intense—it's something that I haven't found in anyone else, to be honest," Uri said. "Even in the hardest of times, he was always the first person to make it to the rehearsal studio."

Uri had to tell fans that both Edo and Ghaust were dead. It was, in many ways, a logical decision. Ghaust only had two members after all. But it was also an emotional one. Uri spent the last decade playing alongside his best friend. He knew that another drummer would never fill the same role. Uri had lost his soulmate, and Ghaust had lost its soul.

"I never think about what our 'legacy' is," Uri said. "What I know is that Ghaust was an important point in my life. Eleven years of learning and maturing. There were so any things that I 'got' from Ghaust—too many to mention. I would hardly know where to begin. What is clear that without Ghaust, I would likely be a very different person."

The duo's posthumous final release is Burning All The Gold, a short collection of 4 rare tracks and one remix. Released through Uri's own Grieve Records, the record is meant to celebrate the band's life and death. It's a celebration of the many emotions that Uri feels about the band's sudden end.

"The title Burning All The Gold to me, feels like the right way to illustrate what I feel," he said. "It compiles many things, many moments that I've acquired since starting Ghaust and ending it. These moments and feelings are like gold in the form of songs. The songs were separated but now they are burned together into one emotional release."

Although the band was around for a slightly more than a decade, Ghaust only has 1 full length release (2008's self-titled record). The band made a name for itself with their live gigs—many at Rossi Musik in South Jakarta's Fatmawati area, where the Grieve Store also resides—as well as with a variety of split albums, singles, and compilation tracks. In fact, with 6 split releases that featured Ghaust on one side and another band on the other, the band smartly built a large global network that made them a major underground name in the Southeast Asian metal scene. Some of their best releases are their splits with Pazahora, Vestiges, Kelelawar Malam, and Iblis Kotor. They've released albums on a variety of formats including 7" vinyl, flexi disc, and cassette tapes.

The band's minimalist set up and slow dirge version of heavy metal brought comparisons to "sludge/ drone metal" bands like Earth, early Melvins, and Sunn ((o)), but Ghaust also relied on more traditional metal elements—like Uri's use of delay and reverb to add a sense of spacey psychedelia to the band's songs.

"What I'd like people to remember of Ghaust is the willingness to try something new; something that was out of the box," he said. "That can either be in music or in anything else, really. Don't be afraid to be different."