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Ghost - Hypnotic Underworld CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.95 | 20 ratings

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4 stars After five years since their last release Ghost are back in action and aren't afraid to show it.

This is yet another stunning work by our Japanese friends Ghost, but now with a different line-up and with that comes a different sound as well. Their folk side is less visible in this album to make space for a more psychedelic and rocky sound, but there are still some unfinished business to attend to...

The first song on the album is divided in four different songs and they sound like the continuation of the song "Tune in, Turn on, Free Tibet" song from the album of the same name. The first part, "God Took a Picture of his Illness on this Ground", it's a more atmospheric jam that has free jazz and electronic dabbling for the 13 minutes of the song. The next part, "Escape and Lost Down in Medina" carries the same atmosphere as the previous part, but now with a rhythm section made up by the drums, electric guitar, bass and piano. This is still sounds like a jam, but a good one at that. The third part, "Aramaic Barbarous Dawn" is a more accessible part than the others and the first sign of vocals. This is clearly not the Ghost heard in Lama Rabi Rabi as this is a very rocky song with no folk to be found anywhere near. The song is short lived and lives you wanting for more, but there will be more of that on the rest of the album. The last part "Leave the World" is the closer of the first song. This song as a whole can make or break the album. If you don't pay too much attention then it'll sound boring or if you don't particularly like the weirdness of it then you definitely won't like it. The rest of the album goes in another more accessible direction.

This is Ghost at its most accessible sound yet. That's not saying they should out, but that they evolved from their previous sound and it's actually a good sign too since it works. An example of this is "Hazy Paradise" and "Holy High". The change of a drummer made things sound more rock than folk, the electric guitar is more present in this album and the different keys like harpsichord, mellotron, piano and others are another great thing about their new sound. There are still songs that reminds us of the old Ghost like the pasive "Kiseichukan Nite" with it's water drop effect, tabla and flute playing along with Batoh singing in his native language. There are other songs that have a nice mix of their folky side and their rockier side. A perfect example of that is the excellent "Piper" (streamable at this site). "Ganagmanag" is one of those Ghost folky jams fans of the band know and love. It's very chilled and it doesn't get hard or heavy at all. Songs like "Feed" shows that the guitar and piano are more on focus in this album than their previous ones. The album ends perfectly with a Syd Barrett cover, "Dominoes".

This is Ghost's most accessible album that I've heard and it's a good place to start too.

chamberry | 4/5 |


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