An enjoyable dip into the world of alt.metal...
Hailing from Athens Greece, Ghost Season has recently released their debut album Like Stars under a Neon Sky. Being a fan of alternative metal, as I am, this band certainly intrigued me as there are not too many metal releases of this type coming out of Greece.
Ghost Season was established in July 2013 by bassist Dorian Gates, with the current line up of Nick Christolis – Guitars, Helen Nota – Drums, and Hercules Zotos on vocals making up the band. The vision for the band was to deliver dynamic alternative metal that bridges aggressive and melodic musical elements and the release of the twelve track Like Stars under a Neon Sky really seeks to deliver against this vision.
The album opens with The Reckoning, which is a prelude to proceedings and for me did little to prime me for the rest of the album. Perhaps I’m just not a fan of musical preludes backed by spoken word excerpts. That being said I was snapped out of that thought process instantly, with solid guitar riffs from Nick and Helen double kicking the bejesus out of the start of the next track Sons of Yesterday, grabbing my attention. The vocals on Sons of Yesterday didn’t take me where I thought the band was going. The lyrics seemed a little mismatched to the power and intent of the underlying music and I felt the vocals were reminiscent of a late 80’s European metal vibe.
From there the power, pace and technical delivery was a pleasing change for the next track Fade Away, with the vocals being supported by guttural metal backup which gives the song a great sound and impact. Fade Away stacks up and by far is my favourite of the album.
Break My Chains follows and stylistically is a little different from the previous track Fade Away, this is possibly because it was released previously in December 2015 and the band has refined their sound since then, nevertheless it is a good track. War of Voices is the first time on the album I noticed the potential influence of co-producer J. Loren Wince, from alt-rockers Hurt. Whether that was my brain playing word association between Hurt’s Wars and War of Voices or the arrangement of the song I’m uncertain.
Then comes The Highway Part I & II which in my opinion would make for a great single track; they flow easily into one another and if listened to separately don’t seem to be as coherent. The remainder of the bands original tracks on the album, Just a Lie, The Vampire, The Mirror and Of Hearts and Shadows are consistent in their pace and really do deliver on the bands vision to bridge aggressive and melodic musical elements.
The last track on the album is a cover of Australian pop duo Savage Garden’s Break Me, Shake Me. It’s an amped up version of the song but to me sticks out when compared to the content on the rest of the album. It is however, if I take my serious hat off a moment, probably a little bit of fun. In this circumstance I decided to leave my serious hat on.
Like Stars under a Neon Sky is a decent debut album from Ghost Season. If you’re a fan of alternative metal or are looking for something different the album was released on 27th January 2017 through Pavement Entertainment and is well worth a look in.