Monday, 28 November 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Ghoul - "Dungeon Bastards"

By: Rick Ahmed

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/07/2016
Label: Tankcrimes 



So many bands try to do what Ghoul is doing and just can't fucking get it right. This is a perfect storm. Superior song writing, technical prowess, and an awesome aesthetic.

“Dungeon Bastards” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Ghetto Blasters
02. Bringer of War
03. Shred the Dead
04. Dungeon Bastards
05. Ghoulunatics
06. Blood and Guts
07. Word is Law
08. Death Campaign
09. Guitarmageddon
10. Abominox

The Review:

My introduction to Ghoul was 2007's “Splatterthrash”. I instantly fell in love with their take on thrash. Everything about it was perfect; the guitar tone, the riffs, the melodies, and especially lyrics. It was glorious. I kept my eye on them throughout the next few years; none of their other releases really caught my ear though. When the pre-order for “Dungeon Bastards” came up in my facebook feed with the bad ass Mark Richards' illustrated cover, green splatter vinyl, and fold out drinking game, I said fuck it. Even if this album sucks it's worth the cool ass packaging.

This album does not suck. This is probably the best metal album of 2016. No bullshit. It blows my mind how few bands can't make an album with 2 good songs, but these freaks managed to come up with 10 rippers. This is actually better than “Splatterthrash”.

The first song “Ghetto Blasters" begans with a sample from what I'm assuming is an old sci-fi movie. The Last line being, "The people blindly followed a man who would become a tyrant." which is creepy as fuck considering the outcome of our last election. The sample fades out and the thrash fucking metal begins. The urge to bang ones head is quite strong on this first track, which is basically one riff on repeat with a tasteful lead over a few measures. Which is perfect, think Exodus type thrash if you must.

Song two "Bringer of War" opens with a solid blast and a riff that wouldn't be out of place on Carcass'Heartwork”. The higher pitched vocals also bear a resemblance to Jeff Walker, which I'm not complaining about. The thing is, it never gets old with Ghoul, as they have a second guttural vocalist, as well as gang vocals, and a cast of characters they introduce throughout the album.

Like I mentioned earlier, every song rules. "Shred the Dead" is a solid thrasher. "Dungeon Bastards" starts with more Carcass feels. My personal favorite song "Ghoulunatics" has an awesome guitar melody, as well as a sick thrash breakdown at about 2:41. A bonus is that it seems to be about idiots like me, "an army of losers, the worst of the worst, to march to our orders and buy all our merch". As for the rest of the album, the hits keep coming. Just listen to the damn thing already!

So many bands try to do what Ghoul is doing and just can't fucking get it right. This is a perfect storm. Superior song writing, technical prowess, and an awesome aesthetic. My only fear is that people won't care to look past the masks and theatrics. These guys should NOT be written off as another gimmick band. That's what everybody did with Gwar, who also made amazing albums, but were under appreciated as anything more than a spectacle. That would be a damn shame as these dudes have the ability to churn out quality thrash!! LONG LIVE GHOUL!!

“Dungeon Bastards” is available here



Band info: bandcamp || facebook


FFO: Impaled, Carcass, Exhumed, Gwar

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