Saturday, January 4, 2014

GHOST AVENUE - Ghost Avenue (2013)

GHOST AVENUE - Ghost Avenue (2013) full


Hailing from Norway, GHOST AVENUE are a five piece formerly simply known as Ghost but they changed their name after their two independent releases. Signed by Pitch Black Records, with the new moniker the guys are presenting the first international CD entitled as the band; "Ghost Avenue".

Ghost Avenue's is strongly influenced by the classic sounds from '80s, blending American Hard Rock in the vein of Lizzy Borden, Riot or Keel with a more hard 'n heavy European style like Tokyo Blade, 220 Volt, Pretty Maids, etc.
The mix works really well through this 11-track record featuring well-crafted melodies, catchy rocking choruses, razor sharp guitar riffs & solos and a pounding rhythm section driving the songs with effectiveness.
Kim Sandvik's vocals will remind you of many singing stars of the glorious decade (like Rhett Forrester or Lizzy Borden) but he is not a copycat at all, he probably sings like he was raised in the '80s, got it?.
The overall sound and production is clear and polished while the mix does justice to all the instruments (vocals included) ending up in a product that shall keep you good company if you like this American / European hard rockin' crossover.

The album kicks off with a title-track “Ghost Avenue”. It features a multitude of catchy riffs, both melodic and with a lot of overdrive, and from the start you can appreciate that Sandvik's pipes are absolutely perfect for this genre.
The Americanized follower “Rock 'n Roll Tree” also contains an impressive duel guitar work at the hands of Øystein Wiik and André Berger, as well as a solid bass and drumming by Magnus Liseter and Petter Chris Lein respectively, all delivering a tight instrumentation that will steal your attention.

GHOST AVENUE - Ghost Avenue (2013) inside

Track number three goes in slightly different direction, commencing with a screeching solo, one of many which appear on this album. In saying that, “The Hunt” does not neglect to include the unbelievably funky riffs and vicious vocals which makes the band sound really efficient.
“Right Direction” goes to another direction indeed, with the song established with rumbly bass and clashing cymbals. The song nears perfection when joined by riffs, and reaches it when Sandvik’s vocals come in.
Next track also highlights the awesome sound of Liseter’s bass in the introduction: “Crazy Eyes” has a rhythm that will get your feet tapping against your will, with a hold over you that won’t let go until the song ends. In addition, the backing vocals in this track give it that extra bit of awesome diversity.
“Treasure Chest” permits the guitars to reclaim the spotlight in the introduction, but it is the combination of instruments which really makes the song rock in great form. Ghost Avenue has a real talent for creating a powerful energy that is just as strong as if you were listening to them live.

As for “All I Can Say”, all I can say is: it’s beautiful. The guitars are slow and melancholic during the first verse, but soon turn up the distortion when they are joined by the drums and bass. Sandvik’s voice is as strong and emotive as ever. Overall, this midtempo Euro hard 'n heavy song is a definite highlight of the album.
Next up we have “Out On The Street”, which has a dangerously street-rock rhythm indeed, including a couple of heavy breakdowns and solos. The tight musicianship is the motto in this one, and it’s the same story in the following three tracks.
It’s the same story throughout the album, actually. The last tracks “When the Going”, “Legacy” and “Two Drinks” (another highlight) draw the album to a catchy and heavy close, leaving you wishing it didn't have to end.

GHOST AVENUE - Ghost Avenue (2013) back cover

With their distinctive sound and adherence to traditional hard rock / hard 'n heavy from both sides of the Atlantic ocean, Ghost Avenue's self-titled international debut is a band to take note of.
On this record the quintet have proven themselves to be a mature act when it comes to songwriting, while also having the enthusiasm of the beginner.
Coming from Scandinavia, it is no surprise that these guys are so musically impressive, polished and effective, and have an immense amount of potential success ahead of them.
If you are searching for some really good metallic hard rock, then you can’t avoid checking this album out.

01 - Ghost Avenue
02 - Rock 'n Roll Tree
03 - The Hunt
04 - The Right Direction
05 - Crazy Eyes
06 - Treasure Chest
07 - All I Can Say
08 - Out On the Street
09 - When the Going Gets Tough
10 - Legacy
11 - Two Drinks

Kim Sandvik - Vocals
Øystein Wiik - Guitar, Backing Vocals
André Berger - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Magnus Liseter - Bass
Petter Chris Lein - Drums



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