Author: Craig Matthews
The first full Metal album I heard was IRON MAIDEN’S “Dance Of Death”, I’ve been hooked on Metal since. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for old school Heavy Metal, the genre that started it all. Because of my fondness of the old ways I’m always excited when I come across a new band flying the banner for Heavy Metal. Introducing GHOST AVENUE and their second album “Impact”, this five piece hail from that frozen land of Metal talent Norway and already have one full length album under their belts.
On the first track they have put a massive smile on my face, It’s like I’m being warped back into the 8o’s. GHOST AVENUE are following the bible of huge guitar riffs with outlandish solos, high pitched vocals and occasionally lyrics that are pure cheese, think of a mixture between IRON MAIDEN, DIO and maybe a touch of JUDAS PREIST.
Starting out with “Impact” GHOST AVENUE is making all the right noises, with a chunky riff and high pitched vocals from singer Kim Izzy Sandvik. It’s good but it almost feels like there’s very little momentum behind it, the track has all the elements to be great but it’s just not quite sticking together. That could be said for the first half of the album really, each track does get progressively better so maybe GHOST AVENUE are just getting warmed up.
Once the fire in their bellies returns GHOST AVENUE begin to put some great tracks out. A favourite of mine is “Time Traveller” this could easily become a metal classic. The riffs are well crafted and slick and thanks to Magnus Liseter and his bass you get a real sense of purpose. Kim has also rolled his vocals back a little and this gives the track a more edgy and less hair metal feel not to mention it is very catchy. I would be happy to have this stuck in my head all day.
Happily as the album goes on they stay in their groove and produce some more great Metal “Collateral Damage” is another worthy mention. It’s a great mix of an underpinning thrashy rhythm and some seriously catchy lyrics, it’s a far cry from the shaky beginning and if they had played with this level of confidence at the start it would have been a totally different album.
I can’t commend guitarists André Berger and Thomas Eljarbø enough, their playing on every single track has been fantastic. They incredibly versatile players and are able to play triumphant thundering riffs one moment, to slow finely crafted ballads the next, I just think that sometimes the song writing can let them down sometimes especially in the beginning. Another problem for me is Kims tendency to push his voice a bit too high but over all a great effort. When they got it right they absolutely got it right, and if they continue to improve their sound I think they will go very far.
6.Dancing With The Devil
8.The Edge Of Darkness
Kim Izzy Sandvik – lead vocals
André Berger – guitar/backing vocals
Magnus Liseter – bass
Petter Chris Lein – drums
Thomas Eljarbø – guitar