Wayd - Ghostwalk review
|Release date:||July 2007|
01. Dead Ravens Blues
02. Burning Visions
03. Underneath The Nails
04. Rivers Of The Night
06. Desire´s Eternal
07. Second Sunrise
08. In Hell We Dwell
09. 2nd Sunrise [Ullambattar Crew Remix] [bonus]
+ Rivers Of The Night [video] [bonus]
+ Wayd In Studio [video] [bonus]
Once every couple of years, an album coming right out of nowhere will suddenly grab you by the balls, hit you hard in the face and turn you into a junkie needing his daily fix. This is exactly what happened to me with Wayd's previous record, 2002's "Decadance", which I consider to this day one of the best progressive/jazz death metal albums ever put forth and which ranks among my favourite albums of all time. The problem when you like an album so much is that you're really expecting too much of the following record and you're just bound to eventually face severe disappointment, especially when the release of the said following record has postponed for three years. This is partly what happened to me with Wayd's new record, 2007's "Ghostwalk".
Wayd has always shown a strong tendency to evolve a lot between each album. While the first two releases where highly inspired by the jazzy, twisted structures of Atheist and Cynic, with multi-layered songwriting and weird vocal lines, "Decadance" was more straightforward and, although not completely letting go of the jazz influences, was more focused on the death metal side of things, with direct, catchy songs (the opening riff of the title track still haunts me 6 years later) and even a few passages bordering on grindcore. "Ghostwalk" displays a new evolution, in that it is closer to the progressive themes of "Barriers" and also keeps a little of the death metal fest of the previous release, but wraps it all up with a kind of alternative metal background. To explain my views a little more, I would say the basic structures sound like a mixture of alternative metal (alternative in the general sense of "not belonging to any established genre") and technical death metal, and the execution retains the jazz influence. In case you didn't understand the implications of mentioning progressive, technical death metal and jazz, I'll make it clearer for you: yes, these guys are a bunch of talented musicians.
Yet a couple of flaws such as awkward progressions and average spoken vocals tend to bog the album down, but overall the result is still fresh and quite original. The brass passages such as on "Rivers Of The Night" (the absolute highlight of this album - check out the video on Youtube) really fit and create a different, unusual atmosphere. They are not a gimmick though and only appear on a few songs, and still at thoughtful intervals. In spite of a few tedious build-ups like the very beginning of the album, the songwriting is about as catchy as before, although slightly less intricate, with a succession of memorable choruses ("Dead Ravens Blues", "Underneath The Nails", "Rivers Of The Night", "Second Sunrise") and moments of sheer musical genius. I just think that this album could have benefitted from a more powerful production, because the sound tends to be a bit flat at times.
I started this review with the intent of being bitter, but now I realize that I mainly have good things to say about "Ghostwalk". It is actually a very good album, whose main defect is to come after such a masterpiece as "Decadance". I boldly assume that most of you who read this review have never listened to "Decadance" before, so any disappointment due to a comparison with the previous album shouldn't bother you that much. Here is your chance to discover a cool original progressive death metal band, just don't miss it!
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
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