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Blue Hour Ghosts – Due Award winner

Blue Hour Ghosts
by Neil Cook at 28 February 2021, 11:56 AM

BLUE HOUR GHOSTS, are not a band I knew before this review, and fair to say not the type of music I would normally listen to, so I came to this with no expectations.  And I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised and generally enjoyed what I heard, which sounds a bit like damning with faint praise, but no this is good!

The band were formed in 2013 in Modena, Italy, and  this is “Due” their 2nd album. Their sound is a mix of Modern and Classic Metal with a Melodic and Progressive leaning, heavy guitars with sympathetic and clever keyboards and effects.  With a backline that can handle the powerful pounding beats, and where required in the gentler bits play with restraint. And the vocals are sung clearly and have a wistful, melonconic tone, that can ramp up where required.

I don’t really have a point of reference to say they sound like, this or like that, which is quite nice, you don’t often get to listen to stuff with virgin ears. From the opening of the first track “Walking Backwards”, a nice touch of organ leads us into a powerful statement of aggressive guitars and drumming with a restrained vocal delivery which typifies the sound for me.  The sound is very immediate and urgent.  Following this is “On Black Clouds” which is a very modern track which has a sound that comes in waves. The underlying keyboard layers give the song depth. Fast paced, almost pop feel to the song.

Dead In August”, which seems to have described our summer 2020 has is both poppy and proggy at the same time, one moment restrained until the guitars really kick in. “Damn Wrong” is a piano driver, softer-edged beautiful song.  A real slow burn with an amazing guitar break and solo voice part are both excellent.  One of those hairs on the back of your neck standing up songs. So generally I am very impressed. There isn’t any tracks I consider to be duffers.  Yes there are some I like less than others, but that’s how things go.  “Shine” for example was good, but not as good as others, and “Fearless” too, was OK, but lacked something to make it stellar, although the keyboard sound was cool.

Lower The Wires” kicked off with a really great riff, which leads into a mid-paced song that twists and turns around that guitar refrain with the keys interlaced through the song creating an interesting harder-edged sound. “Disheartened” however leads with some Proggy keys and great beats, with effects heavy vocals over the top of it all.  As Prog as it gets, although it feels like they are holding themselves back from going over the edge, which give the track a restrained yet urgent feel. Last song “Involved – Bored” is very much about the vocals, but not to the point of forgetting the band.  There is both some great riffing guitar battling the equally edgy keys.  A song of many layers, the music constantly building to a crescendo, and gone. No fade out, no refrain, just bang! And done.

Even with the couple of songs I didn’t quite feel were as good as the rest, I am going to give this impressive band full marks, simply because they opened by eyes to a new sound, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Walking Backwards
2. On Black Clouds
3. Dead in August
4. Damn Wrong
5. Shine
6. Fearless
7. Lower the Wires
8. Disheartened
9. Involved/Bored
Ricky DC - Vocals
Diego Angeli - Guitars
Francesco Poggi - Guitars
Simome Pedrazzi - Keyboards
Matteo Malmusi - Bass
Andrew Gunner - Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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Edited 08 June 2023

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