Friday, October 30, 2015

GHOST MACHINERY: ”Evil Undertow”

Rating: RRRR

Label: Pure Legend Records 2015
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

A few years have passed since the previous Ghost Machinery album ”Out For Blood”. That was a solid piece of work but I’ll have to say that ”Evil Undertow” is even better. Guitarist Pete Ahonen gave up his vocalist duties in his other band Burning Point, but meanwhile in GM he decided to step back to the microphone and became the lead vocalist again. The last album featured Taage Laiho (Kilpi, Altaria) on vocals. Fans of his voice should try to get a hold of this album’s limited edition, which features two superb cover versions with him on vocals, namely ”Fight For The Strangers” and ”Never Stop Runnin’”. Both are originally semi-legendary Finnish metal songs from the eighties by Iron Cross and Zero Nine.

The main ”core” of the album are the 9 new songs and one cover found on the normal edition of the album. The originals are all hook-laden metal songs with fine guitars, pompous keyboards and gritty, yet melodic vocals. Out of them my picks would be the opener ”Arms Of The Strangers”, ”Brave Face”, the Queensryche-like ”Dead Inside” and Dokkenesque ”Lost To Love”. Apart from the aforementioned bands, you can hear influences from ”Eclipse”-era Yngwie and many more classic melodic metal bands.

The one cover is Robert Tepper’s ”No Easy Way Out”, which is a great song. I’m not ”that” fond of the GM version though. The song’s classic bass line is a bit buried under the guitars and keys. Still, you can’t ”kill” a classic song like this by small changes and this is a worthy addition to the track listing.

If I have one complaint it’s the use of similar ”church organ” sounds on many of the songs. The sound just stands out and points its’ ugly finger at me a few too many times. Could be my strange paranoia too…

Anyway, earlier this year I think I said that Stargazery’s latest album is my favourite from the products of Pete Ahonen Metal Factory. I’m not so sure anymore, here we have a serious contender.

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