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Ghost Ship Octavius – Delirium Award winner

Ghost Ship Octavius
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 17 December 2018, 7:59 AM

I was so happy to read about this band finally signing to a record label. Their first EP was self-released and had a lot of great feedback from fans all over the world. GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS made their name this year when touring with the likes of ORPHANED LAND and TYR and their definitely broaden their fan base with that tour. I believe they were also on the 70000 Tons of Metal Cruise if I am not mistaken. I was thrilled to see them earlier this year at the Corona Theater and they were one hell of an opening act and just got things going. I didn’t know much about the band beforehand, only read about them on various websites and never ever listened to their material before that very show. I was blown away, they killed it that night and I heard the guys were really nice to the fans and that’s always something that is very important for me.

GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS were formed in 2013 by Van Williams after the demise of NEVERMORE. Van Williams had been with NEVERMORE since the beginning of the band and was a quiet driving force of the sound of the band. We all know about Jeff Loomis and Jim Sheppard but Van Williams was an integral part of one of the very best Metal acts of the last twenty years. Clocking at almost an hour, this album passes like a breeze. I had to listen to it again because it was so good yet so refreshing. This is probably my favorite album of all 2018, sorry to bands like OMNIUM GATHERUM or BRAINSTORM but this album just took the high spot on my list! Channeling a number of different genres, they offer something really different than anything I have listened in the last few years. They fuse the stylings of NEVERMORE (I would have said the same thing if they weren’t any former members of the band in this band, I really felt that from the start it had that NEVERMORE vibe) and the DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND. Blending the raw emotion and character of the Seattle boys with the Progressive Metal of our favorite Canadian music man! Some of the breakdown and catchy riffs do remind me of the older IN FLAMES albums for some reason.

Adon Fanion has some pretty good range and when he forces his voice (I wouldn't say harsh vocals, just vocals with a harder edge) he sounds like a mix of Tim ‘’Ripper’’ Owens and the aforementioned Devin Townsend. He has a lot of charisma on stage and his presence does demand attention. He does a masterful job of alternating his vocals on the songs, from the more acoustic stuff to the balls to the walls Metal of songs like ‘’Saturnine." Most of the heavier songs on this album could have been the follow-up to the vastly underrated ‘’Obsidian Conspiracy’’, the very last NEVERMORE album. It fits in the same mold and could have the logical sequel to this album. As for songs like ‘’Delirium’’ and ‘’Ocean of Memories’’ , they remind me of the heavier parts (and period) of FATES WARNING. The solos on this album are not that present but when they touch upon the listener, they grab you and never let you go. The solos on ‘’Chosen’’ and ‘’Turned to Ice’’ are some of the best of the album and they may not be as intricate as the virtuoso in the style, but they have a lot of depth to them and add a lot of substance to these songs.

That album cover is out of this world beautiful, I don’t know the artist but dammit, it’s one the best I have seen in the last few years. A solid two thumbs up to the band and the artist on this one! An album with style and substance, very reminiscent of NEVERMORE but adding a lot of Progressive Metal elements and intricate breakdowns. It’s one very solid album, my pick for album of the year no less.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Turned to Ice
2. Ocean of Memories
3. Saturnine
4. Delirium
5. Ghost in the Well
6. Chosen
7. Edge of Time
8. Far Below
9. The Maze
10. Bleeding on the Horns
11. Burn This Ladder
Van Williams – Drums
Matt Wicklund – Guitars and Bass
Adon Fanion – Vocals, Guitars and Bass
Record Label: Mighty Music


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Edited 06 December 2022

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