Ghostblood – Blood From Beyond The Grave

GHOSTBLOOD - Blood From Beyond the Grave - cover

Label: Self-released/Independent

It’s pretty obvious that Ghostblood love what they do. This trio of incredibly handsome ravenous mutant ghosts (their words, not mine) play with such passion that Blood From Beyond The Grave is almost impossible to dislike. Their mix of thrashing crossover and shameless metal – as in, METAL – is full of energy and enthusiasm, and the sense of fun running throughout will raise a smile from all but the most grim and kvlt of souls. This is extreme metal at its most undeniable, a battering ram of speed and talent, and is sure to sweep you along.

Over the 30 minutes of Blood From Beyond The Grave, the only real moment of calm is to be found in the introductory title track; from then on it’s a whirlwind of speed, with thrashing riffs, impressive solos, and pounding drums hammering down on the listener with no respite. The vocals are just the right side of depraved, with the odd true metal banshee wail thrown in (see: “Dungeon Ripper), and there’s even a strong bass presence in the mix, which occasionally rises to the fore to show that it’s not just an after-thought, as is sadly true of so many metal bands. But the main impression is of almost boundless energy, with these songs sure to shake you out of your reverie and have you throwing devil horns at your desk. It’s also clear that Ghostblood embrace the theater and absurdity inherent in metal of this strand, with lyrics that make good on song titles like “Cleaver Fever”, “Recapitator”, and ode to cannibalism “Open The Grave”. Bonus points for naming the solos, too.

There’s a lot of talented musicianship on display. Examples of impressive guitar movements are too numerous to list, and it’s notable that even amongst all the (many) solos and leads, they never feel indulgent or aimless. Meanwhile, the rhythm section aren’t as overtly flashy (though check out the interplay in the intro to “Haunting The Swamp”), but even a casual listen will make it clear that there’s a considerable level of skill on Blood From Beyond The Grave, both in the actual playing and the song-writing. Picking out individual songs for praise feels redundant; the album is a remarkably strong, consistent listen, that manages to add in little moments of deviation throughout – such as shifts in tempos and different instruments taking the lead – which helps give the songs extra character, and keep the record interesting. Because even if it’s only 30 minutes long, it’s still easy for music as up-tempo and intense as this to result in a kind of overload with everything turning in to a blur, but Ghostblood avoid this trap. Every song here is absolutely killer, both individually and as part of the whole.

There’s still a few rough edges to it though, with my main complaint being that the vocals are often lost in the production, and the lyrics rarely come through clearly. It’s a shame, as the lyric sheet contains moments of genuine humour, and though they largely stick to trusted metal tropes, they suit the music perfectly. The production, whilst largely strong, does get a bit unbalanced at times, but it feels a bit unfair criticising an underground band of this ilk for that, especially as it doesn’t stop Blood From Beyond The Grave being such a thrilling, addictive listen. There’s a lot to like about this album, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the trio go on to much bigger things.

Blood From Beyond The Grave can be streamed, downloaded, and purchased on CD through Bandcamp.

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