GGGOLDDD – This Shame Should Not Be Mine Review

GGGOLDDD is a band with a message. That sentence alone is enough to put Many People on edge. Because Many People are of the opinion that your sole duty as a band is to play music, not to confront us with stuff like political statements or uncomfortable truths. Many People say that music is supposed to be an escape and the only emotions an artist is allowed to make you feel are happy ones. Many People speak utter horseshit. Many People speak this horseshit because listening to a band with a message makes them uncomfortable, even when the message is as plain as “don’t fucking rape people.” Many People retreat into platitudes like ‘not all men’ before the final syllable has even begun to echo away. What this says about these Many People, I will leave for you to interpret. What I will try to interpret for you, though, is GGGOLDDD’s message. Not that it requires much clarification. After all, it is the title.

GGGOLDDD’s1 message did not come from nowhere. Frontwoman Milena Eva was 19 when she was raped, and she carried the feelings of shame for 17 years. It informed some of the music she made with her band, bubbling to the surface in increasing waves, yet never boiling over. Until 2020. The trauma erupted in full during the stagnation of the pandemic, and it became the impetus for the creation of This Shame Should Not Be Mine. The result is an album that, rather than reveling in victimhood, stands tall, pointing an accusatory finger so fierce it triggers a vicarious sense of guilt.

Whilst lyrics are oftentimes an afterthought in metal, there is no getting around them on This Shame Should Not Be Mine. Each track spotlights a different aspect of life after the trauma of sexual assault, and none of the blows are softened by euphemisms or metaphors. ‘I want the smell to leave me / I want to shower ‘til the skin comes off,’ Eva drones in dead-eyed monotone on “Spring.” Later she adds matter-of-factly: ‘I didn’t think I would be this quiet.’ Many of the lyrics are addressed directly to the rapist, such as the deeply uncomfortable “Strawberry Supper”: ‘You called me sunshine, you tore me down.’ “Notes on How to Trust” wonders how to open up to people without risking going through the same ordeal again. Dealing with trauma through music, and letting trauma inform songwriting, is a tale as old as music itself, even considering the specific theme of living through the aftermath of rape. Lingua Ignota is a notable peer of GGGOLDDD in this respect. But few bands deal with it in such a stark, literal manner. Eva is not looking to write poetry; her lyrics are her thoughts, as direct and confrontational as they come.

This starkness is reflected in the music, which operates on the edges of alternative rock, industrial and black metal. The individual musical elements deceive with simplicity, but they are the perfect backdrop for the bleak theme. The melodic hooks and use of repetition allow for the album to be somewhat accessible on its face and retain memorability, ensuring it doesn’t leave your head soon. Few tracks pass the 5-minute mark; the longest, “I Won’t Let You Down,” is a haunting atmospheric piece that doesn’t even get a drumbeat until well past the half-way point. But the album is not afraid to get loud, exemplified by the furious tremolo riffing featured on “Like Magic” or the intensely layered “Beat by Beat.” Eva’s vocal delivery grants further diversity, as it varies from thin and airy to a strong, commanding mid-range.

This Shame Should Not Be Mine is not a fun album. It is not an album that will appeal to everyone. It’s uncomfortable by design, not through dissonance or alien song structures, but through the lack of obfuscation of its subject. The smart songwriting balances ease of access with musical depth and thematically appropriate atmosphere. It makes for a memorable experience, if you allow GGGOLDDD to take you by the hand through painful, personal trauma, through seething anger and, true to its title, through misplaced shame. Shame that should be on someone else’s shoulders.

Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: Stream | Format Reviewed: Stream
Label: Artoffact Records
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: April 1st, 2022

Show 1 footnote

  1. Formerly simply GOLD, but changed for recognizeability and search engine optimization.
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