Saturday 12 March 2016

Ghoul - Intermediate Level Hard-Core & Hang Ten

Metal has featured a long line of mask wearing miscreants over the years, from GWAR to A Band Of Orcs to Lordi! I haven't forgotten THAT BAND before you ask, I just deem them way to serious for this post. Like the bands mentioned above, anonymous US thrashers Ghoul have an image that may look like Scarecrow from Batman, but they party hard and cover their fans in claret at every given opportunity. Heck if Metal Archives deems them "cult" enough to feature on their hallowed pages then they must be doing something right.

Formed after the turn of the millennium by beings from several well-known death/thrash bands, Ghoul has released four full-length records as well as several EPs, singles and splits amongst other things. In this feature I focus on 2013's Intermediate Level Hard-Core EP (released via Clearview Records on vinyl and by Tankcrimes on CD) and 2014's Hang Ten EP (released via Tankcrimes on vinyl), which to date is their most recent record.

Intermediate Level Hard-Core - Tracklist:-

1. Intro
2. Americanized
3. Blow Up The Embassy
4. E.M.S.&D.
5. Propaganda Control
6. Proud To Be Creepsylvanian
7. Outro

Don’t let that retro cover-art fool you, this ain’t no stoned-out desert rock. Ghoul clearly has a wicked sense of humour as the Intro sounds just like one of those dreaded music exams you took at school. Americanized features good old American riffs and a choir that has to be heard to be believed. The song would not be out of place on a Grand Theft Auto radio station or a Scissorfight record. Blow Up The Embassy is a tongue in cheek attack against terrorists and raucous one at that! They’re at their best during quick-fire blasts like E.M.S.&D. and you won’t hear better solos shoehorned into songs this short. It’s unsurprising that Ghoul has an affiliation to Municipal Waste. Propaganda Control rages with the help wicked crossover thrash that’s become Ghoul’s calling card. The standout for me is Proud To Be Creepsylvanian. It’s brief but musically it’s both catchy and brimming with skill, as you’d expect.  The Outro rounds out the EP, which doesn’t stretch beyond seven minutes but still whips up a storm.

Hang Ten - Tracklist:-

1. The Midnight Ride Of The Cannibals MC
2. Kreeg
3. Sidehackers
4. Hang Ten
5. Blood On The Street
6. It Was A Very Good Year

On Hang Ten Ghoul manages to expand on the thrash that was present on Intermediate Level Hard-Core, with longer songs and even a story within the EP. The Midnight Ride Of The Cannibals MC is a menacing instrumental opener. Ghoul wrote a short accompanying piece on their bandcamp page to set the scene for the EP and Kreeg introduces you to the leader of the Cannibals, a raging mob of pillaging bikers. Sidehackers is about the band of vigilante’s that were gathered to battle the Cannibals and save their city. It’s mainly instrumental and allows you to create your own fantasy images about the battle that was waged between the two. In the story Ghoul wrote Kreeg hangs ten orphans, as illustrated in the EP cover are. The title-track is the musical rendition of that event. Blood On The Streets provides the musical background to the Acolyte’s storming of the Cannibals stronghold with the help of citizens that wanted to overthrow them. The EP concludes with It Was A Very Good Year and provides a final grim look into Kreeg’s psyche as he is about to be beheaded. Musically this EP is great but I think they missed a trick with the minimal use of vocals, but that’s no reason to ignore Hang Ten.

You can stream and download both EPs here:- 

You can grab physical copies of both EPs from Clearview Records and Tankcrimes here -

Clearview Records -
Tankcrimes Records -

Ghoul Facebook -
Clearview Records Facebook -
Tankcrimes Records Facebook -

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