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Old Corpse Road – On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore

Old Corpse Road
On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 21 April 2020, 12:14 AM

OLD CORPSE ROAD have carved their name into the UK black metal scene by  producing classic, yet unique British black metal based on the dark  folklore of Britain. The Darlington based 5-piece formed in 2007 and take their name from a coffin road in the Lake District.

On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore” kicks us off nicely, the progressive start is decent, medium-paced, but potential to increase. The melodies blend in together allowing a few changes in harmony to appear, it is executed perfectly. A Blackened Thrash riff takes over midway into the song allowing the progression to get the song into the next stage. Good start to the album.

Harbingers of Death (Voices in the Tempest)” carries on the overall feel, but with added aggression and tempo, which is a great addition. The vocals are a mix of spoken word which tells a story in itself and the coarse vocals, of that there are several voices, a few different high and low pitches, together it goes perfectly. The progressive Folk melodies in the song go well in the end to slow things down, but in doing so, they harmonize the song and bring out some amazing technical skills on display, a strong finish.

Black Ship” is a log song, so be prepared for a lengthy intro to the song, coz its not far off 2-minutes before the shattering screams kick the tempo up a notch and really allow all elements to come to table. The vocals remain coarse and hard to follow, but the melodies are easy to follow and easy to enjoy. Things do slow down again, but as it is well-balanced the tempo is not an issue, its composed and runs well. The last few moments are basically an instrumental, but the beauty of the melodies is amazing, the song could have been like this all through and I would have loved it still. The last instrumental section has a few more Folk ideas with added tones from the keyboards adding to the atmosphere.

Sea Fire” is another slow to start, again its progressive, but as such with longer songs it is not a shock. This one takes little time to introduce the vocals however, and these are more of the soft spoken vocals with a cackling coarse option in the background which does solo itself soon after. The overall tempo does increase and there is a frenzied section where shit hits the fan, in a good way and it is awesome. The Folk style returns in come chanting which breaks the song down once more. Midway through it gets all experimental again, not sure how to describe it, its funky, I’ll state that.

As Waves Devour Their Carcasses”, I thought for a bit this was just a calming keyboard instrumental, the first 2-minutes are, then its joined by a creeping spoken word vocalist who seems to be more like telling a story. It’s a peaceful number, without having to do much.

Demons of the Farne” continues the same approach for a brief moment, before it all kicks off with the tempo flying up the scale as the vocalists scream out. The song tries to seemingly break itself down with odd outbursts of styles before quickly changing into the tried and test approach that is pace and aggression. The tempo does stop and pick up a few times in the song, but it never feels tired, it feels well used. The repeating, progressing melodies work really well to build the harmony and make the song remain fresh at all times

The Ghosts of the Ruinous Dunstanburgh Castle” is more eerie keyboard play to start us off, this is met by the solid riff coming through. You look at the length and know it will change so many times over. The vocals are spoken but go into to piercing screams to add tension to the song and to the melodies. The feel is very 70’s / 80’s cheesy horror flick and it really works for that, a bit of lack of progression, but the balance remains within itself really well. It feels like a story and they do so well to make this portrayed within a song, its not easy to pull off, this is a journey.

WaterLore”, the final to this story of an album. Its another peaceful keyboard piece to open. It is a great end as an instrumental, taking all the great keyboard sections we have heard and making it into a beautiful melody to end the album.

This is a solid album, it is full of swings and twists to create some amazing melodies. Its dark with some plot twists in the story, enjoy the journey.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of Our Lore
2. Harbingers of Death (Voices in the Tempest)
3. Black Ship
4. Sea Fire
5. As Waves Devour Their Carcasses
6. Demons of the Farne
7. The Ghosts of the Ruinous Dunstanburgh Castle
8. WaterLore
Lineup:
The Dreamer - Percussion, Ambiance
The Bearer aka Steve Blackwood - Guitars, Vocals
The Wanderer aka Mike Wesson - Bass, Vocals (spoken word)
The Revenant aka Stephen Morrison- Guitars, Vocals
The Watcher - Keyboards, Vocals
Record Label: Trollzorn Records
     


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