A cross-over between hard rock and metal, it certainly had some teeth to it!
Mature Norwegian classic rockers Ghost are hitting the UK with their debut album, "Engravings". Before I even put the CD on, I couldn't ignore the over-the-top, clichéd package I'd been sent. The press release used predictable phrases such as "world domination" and making "music history", both rather ludicrous for an independent band's debut album, whilst the posed photos of the band members made me chuckle rather than fill me with the nervous anticipation normally desired by such grungy bands; bassist Magnus Liseter also looked unnervingly like my best friend! The press release was doing the guys no favours, but far more importantly, how was the music?
A cross-over between hard rock and metal, it certainly had some teeth to it! The raw guitar melodies were meaty, certainly packing one hell of a punch whilst Kim Sandvik's perfect, gritty metal voice was ferocious and powerful, leading the monster group with enviable ease.
My favourite track was 'Surgery'; Sandvik and the backing vocalist put in a knockout performance that really raised my opinion of this band to a whole new level. With its galloping rhythm section and hard-hitting lyrics, this was the standout track for me. It would be interesting to hear the guy's tackle a ballad and let their sensitive side come to the surface, but I'm not sure that this would actually add anything to a band that are so proud to be "rock and roll until we die".
Ghost's music is the type that you can't resist, it gets you deep inside and refuses to let go. It's the musical equivalent of a Harley Davidson: strong yet beautiful with a sexy grumble, the potential to let rip at any time giving a constant sense of danger that is so unbelievably addictive. Hold on tight and let Ghost take you for a spin.
I'm a huge fan of the hard rock and metal of the 80's and the Ghost guys have created a perfect sound that mixes the best of both genres. It's so encouraging to know that this sound is being preserved for the next generation of rockers whilst also evolving into something new and very exciting; I can't wait to hear more from the Norwegian quintet in the future!
Ghost are vocalist Kim Sandvik, guitarists Oysten Wiik and Andre Berger, bassist Magnus Liseter and drummer Petter Lein. To find out more about Norway's newest export, check out www.ghosttheband.com or www.myspace.com/ghostrocks