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Ghost Machinery - Evil Undertow

Ghost Machinery
Evil Undertow
by V.Srikar at 29 November 2015, 2:30 PM

Modern Traditional Heavy Metal has continued to amaze me, as bands have tried different ways and taken different routes to keep themselves relevant and the genre fans interested in them. Most modern bands have tried to portray a polished production compared to the 80s/90s albums and that seems to impress most modern fans as well. So similarly we got Finnish Melodic Heavy Metal band GHOST MACHINERY releasing their 3rd full length album “Evil Undertow” this November 13th, and let’s see how ‘scary’ it is!

Now, first things first, my first impression with a name like GHOST MACHINERY was that the band is going to be either a Death Metal band or, if it was a Traditional Heavy Metal by any means, it was going to be a fast and heavy sounding one. But I got all of those wrong, and I blame the dark vibes that the album cover art conveyed to me. In any case, GHOST MACHINERY is nothing like I expected it to be and is quite a pleasant surprise as the band plays Melodic Traditional Heavy Metal with shades of Power Metal in it. The first song “Arms Of The Strangers” which is also the song that the band has used extensively to promote this album is, as you would expect one of the better songs on offer here. It rushes in mid-tempo with rhythmic guitar work, as the vocalist Pete Ahonen brings some excellent clean vocals to the table, which is complemented greatly with the rest of the band’s sound, including the backing vocals. What struck me most with GHOST MACHINERY and has stayed with me even after listening to them many times is the smooth rhythmic Heavy guitar riffs, which hit the bull’s eye of what can be called Melodic Metal. “Fatal” has more Power Metal vibes to it as the tempo gets much heavier and faster, but still managing to sound melodic. “Kingdom Of Decay” has a wonderful backing vocals, as the song falls just short of being an anthem, which is what the next song “Go To Hell (It's Where You Belong)” comes much closer to due to its faster pace.

It’s worth mentioning that the keyboard work by Jussi Ontero, who also is responsible for the drum work in this record, gets more air time and visibility and one can feel the impact the keyboard is able to create to the overall band’s sound, and my bad, I have always underestimated keyboards in Metal. The synthetic guitar work that axe men Pete Ahonen and Mikko Myllyla blast in “Evil Undertow” is a treat to the ears and more piercing that ever before, which I think is a great testimonial to what great techniques and technology can achieve when they come together. The album goes through a very rhythmic phase in “Brave Face” and “Tools Of The Trade” which run smoothly almost making the time stand, even as the vocals pierce smoothly once in a while. “No Easy Way Out” gives a more insight into the album’s lyrics as they deal with personal emotional issues and providing a bit of inspiration, which most listeners should be able to relate to. “Lost To Love” combines sharp riffs and melodic parts to create a unique song and the emotional backing vocals really reminded me of the vocals in the new ACCEPT album! The last song of the normal edition “The Last Line Of Defence” is one of the faster tracks on offer here and sets a wonderful tone to the 2 bonus tracks added here. Both the bonus tracks fast paced and are slightly louder due on the guitar amps and the band try very hard to end the record with these anthemic songs, and they work just fine for me!

With a deadly combination of exquisite solos and great riffs and vocals, and rhythmic tempo building drum work, GHOST MACHINERY is a great find as a band, which has great ability to become legends in the genre if they are able to maintain consistency and also avoid a few minute mistakes. I remember reviewing another Power Metal band SWITCHBLADE a year ago for Temple, and GHOST MACHNIERY reminds me a lot of that band, though both are not really the same and both have their differences and uniqueness. With a sound that hits the sweet spot between Hard Rock, Melodic Heavy Metal and Power Metal, “Evil Undertow” is an album a listen has to dive into to get the essence of the modern Hard Rock sound and cherish what modern production can make of musicians.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Arms Of The Strangers
2. Fatal
3. Kingdom Of Decay
4. Go To Hell (It's Where You Belong)
5. Evil Undertow
6. Brave Face
7. Tools of the Trade
8. No Easy Way Out
9. Dead Inside
10. Lost to Love
11. The Last Line of Defence
Lineup:
Pete Ahonen – Vocals, Guitar
Sami Nyman – Bass
Mikko Myllyla – Guitars
Jussi Ontero – Drums, Keyboard
Record Label: Pure Legend Records
     


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