|Ghost Avenue – ‘Impact’ (Pitch Black Records)|
|Written by Marc Leach|
|Friday, 10 March 2017 04:00|
Sure does suck when you have to change your band name, huh? That is the case for Norway’s Ghost Avenue who were once called Ghost, a name which is now owned by a certain Grammy award winning band from Sweden. Thankfully a name change didn't stop these Norwegians from releasing new material with ‘Impact’ being their second release under this identity.
Sure does suck when you have to change your band name huh? That is the case for Norway’s Ghost Avenue who were once called Ghost, a name which is now owned by a certain Grammy award winning band from Sweden. Thankfully a name change didn't stop these Norwegians from releasing new material with ‘Impact’ being their second release under this identity.
Album openers ‘Impact’ and ‘Escape’ set the tone for this record as Ghost Avenue show off their brand of old school heavy metal; almost as if Judas Priest and Accept had an unholy offspring. Guitarists will drool over the collection of chunky riffs from both André Berger and Thomas Eljarbø while Kim Izzy Sandvik’s gritty vocals screech throughout each track. I do have to say through the musicianship of the band is next to none, especially fonce the listener reaches the album’s half way point; ‘Affection.’ Not only are the band in top form musically here but it’s bassist Magnus Liseter’s tasty bass licks that helps add depth. ‘Dancing With The Devil’ and ‘Construction’ not only changes the pace of the album but until these two songs this reviewer felt each song started to sound the same.
The epic ‘Construction’ is certainly one of the strongest songs on the album, primarily all down to the melodic guitar solos featured. ‘The Edge Of Darkness’ and ‘Collateral Damage’ bring the faster pace back to the album and it is here where I began to lose interest as the tracks went back to sounding exactly the same. (compare both the track intros if you don't believe me.)
So, have Ghost Avenue made an ‘Impact’ to us as Über Rock? To be honest, this album is like marmite, you will either love it or hate it. Here’s why I love it; deep down this is a pretty strong body of work, the production is tight and as stated the musicianship between the band members despite a good number of the riffs being continuously recycled.
However, there are a couple of downfalls which I hope the guys can look at improving for the next record. One being that as great as drummer Petter Chris. Lein is, less drum fills plus extra work on timing (‘Dancing With The Devil’ being the main example) would have helped the overall drum performance. Then there is the biggest downfall of them all; Kim Izzy Sandvik’s vocals. From start to finish Kim pushes his vocals to the extreme which makes his voice strain under the pressure at times (‘Construction’ being the prime example) plus meant there was no room for experimentation on vocal ranges which would have helped add an extra layer of atmosphere to this body of work.
I do however look forward to hearing more from these guys as despite these words. They are a pretty tight enough band who can release a strong album, it’s up to them on if they take this constructive criticism on board or not.
‘Impact’ is out now.
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