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Ghost Toast

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Ghost Toast Shape Without Form album cover
3.66 | 78 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Frankenstein's (4:31)
2. Eclipse (8:18)
3. Y13 (7:11)
4. Hunt of Life (6:00)
5. Follow (6:54)
6. Before Anything Happens (5:06)
7. W.A.N.T. (8:10)

Total Time 46:10

Line-up / Musicians

- László Papp / drums
- János Stefán / bass, Fx
- Bence Rózsavölgyi / guitar
- János Pusker / cello, keyboard

Releases information

Label: Inverse Records
Format: CD, Digital
March 3, 2020

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to TCat for the last updates
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GHOST TOAST Shape Without Form ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

GHOST TOAST Shape Without Form reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars With a name like 'Ghost Toast', what do you think you would expect? It's probably not exactly what you are going to get here. This band started out in 2008 in Hungary founded by 3 members Bence Rozsavolgyi on guitar, Laszlo Papp on drums and Janos Stefan on bass. They were later joined by Janos Pusker on keyboards and cello. Most of their instrumental music comes from improvisations held during their rehearsals.

Their fourth album 'Shape Without Form', released in March of 2020 shows the band maturing and still creating heavy instrumental prog with the same line up. The fact that these four musicians have been working together since 2009 is quite obvious as their sound is tight. The tracks on this album prove that they work together well, knowing what to expect from each other. It is almost hard to tell that most of the music is improvised as they move from a heavy, almost metal-type sound to a sudden shift to a mellow jazz interlude that builds into a swirling miasma of keyboards and build back to a solid punch filled with metal hard riffs in the track 'Eclipse'. It's the smooth shifts like this that make the music from this band so easy to gravitate towards.

The beautiful rhapsodic piano at the beginning of 'Frankenstien's' might throw one off of the expectations that you might have of the heaviness of the music. This continues on for a minute or so before exploding into the heaviness that you expect. But it is also an indication of the exploratory music you are going to get on this album. What you can expect is a lot of variation in sound as you move from one track to another. We talked a bit about the excellent flow of music on 'Eclipse' already as it overall stays with a heavy sound mixed with jazz inflections, but 'Y13' lets the piano take charge again and the guitars become more atmospheric and sythns give a really nice cinematic feel to it all. This gives this track a much different sound from the two preceding tracks, and the spoken word on this track (which comes from a 1960 movie called 'Space Men') narrates a story from time to time that makes it even more movie-like. It makes the loose concept of the album much clearer, that being the fight between being human or unhuman. This track would stand out as an amazing musical journey on any album, but the solidity of this band really makes it hit home.

'Hunt of Life' continues the wide pastiche of the album. This track is a cover of an Icelandic folk song and the vocal samples in the track are from an acapella cover of the song found on You Tube (the vocalist's name is Kelly Jenny). Her vocal samples are back by a sweeping instrumental foundation that also calls up a Norwegian feel, but against an almost reggae backbeat. It really works, especially with the amazing percussion surrounding it all. Very unexpected and pleasantly surprising. Later the bass leads the way as it takes things up another level in intensity. 'Follow' has a more steady sound, but it uses this pace to build tension, utilizing the balance between instruments quite wisely and bringing things to a solid guitar riff halfway in while twinkling keyboards retain a level of building tension until it all boils over, then calming to a sparkling finish.

'Before Anything Happens' is a bit smoother following a beat and piano riff that sails along before bringing in guitar to toughen things up a bit, but staying quite melodic and heavy at the same time. The track turns to a more symphonic feel as it continues . 'W.A.N.T.' features sound clips from the movies 'Nineteen Eight-Four' and 'Apocalypse Now' with Marlon Brando reading 'The Hollow Men' by T.S. Elliot which is where the album title 'Shape Without Form' comes from. The track begins with these clips superimposed over each other before a crushing riff from the guitars take over with progressive rhythms and a cello pumping out more intensity.

This album is full of surprises, variety and stellar performances from all of the band members. If you are a person that is normally turned off by all instrumental albums, you should still hear this album. There is so much variety and feeling in the music that you don't even miss the vocals. If you do love instrumental albums, then you will definitely want to hear this. It is definitely one of the best albums I have heard this year. The music often swells to uplifting and cinematic heights, and its all done with perfection and professionalism. This is one solid album and, strange band name aside, should be taken completely seriously as these musicians prove that they mean business, not only creating a solid heavy prog album, but one that also uses dynamics and balance to keep you guessing what surprises hide around each corner. This one is highly recommended to those who love a lot of variety in their instrumental music, packed with emotion and sweeping passages that take you right along with them. This is one that comes highly recommended to those that enjoy balance between soft, pensive passages to loud and heavy yet emotional highs. This might just be the album you are looking for that will catch you by surprise in 2020.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I am impressed most of all by the dedication to the "loose" concept of this album: both T.S. Elliot's poem "The Hollow Men" and the spectrum of choices that lead to man's "human" and "inhuman" behaviours--despite the fact that this is an "instrumental" album. (There are voice samples from a wide array of film and other media dispersed throughout most of the album's songs). The music is good, mostly heavy, driving its themes firmly and insistently, but there is by no means anything new or extraordinary in either the composition or the instrumental prowess on display. This is very good, often engaging music from a fairly new band from Hungary. While I do recommend 2020 listeners to check this album out for themselves, I will continue to watch and await the development of their mastery and hope for a real stunner, a masterpiece, sometime in the future--perhaps the near future.
Review by nick_h_nz
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

I reviewed this album from Ghost Toast immediately after the debut from, Ajna. Luckily, I think I chose to listen to these two Hungarian post-rock bands in what turned out to be the best order, for after listening to Ghost Toast, I might have been underwhelmed by Ajna ? and that would be unfair, as Ajna's Rengeteg is a wonderful album. But if Rengeteg is wonderful, then Ghost Toast's Shape Without Form is phenomenal! The album is well-named, for while the music fits into the shape of what we call post-rock, it does not have the familiar form. Indeed, so often does the music shift and chop and change, it never has the chance to take any one form. The music is as wispy and whimsical as the band's name implies, and provides constant surprises, which are never less than enjoyable.

You might, however, be forgiven for wondering just what I am going on about when you hit play. The introduction to the opening number, Frankenstein's, is a sumptuous and gorgeous piano piece. But when the guitars and drums kick in after a minute and a half, the contrast with the introductory gentleness really provides even greater 'oomph' to the first post-rock blast of the album than it already has. The piano comes back into play towards the end, and the track ends as beautifully as it began. Ghost Toast say they "love heavy, trippy music and movie scores as well, so we use these elements to create something that is special to us." Frankenstein's encapsulates this perfectly.

Eclipse, contrarily, begins quite brutally, but takes time out for some nice laidback passages. Over its eight minutes, it neatly and smoothly shifts between moods, and there are some very tasty jazz breaks in there. László Papp is a monster on the drums, whether he's hitting hard and fast or lightly and deftly. Y13 lets János Pusker shine again, as his piano playing again leads us in. In fact, Pusker's cello also features. This is a very cinematic piece, with that feel enhanced even more by the use of voice samples from film. It's fairly laidback for the first four minutes or so before it picks up pace. As with the opening track, the piano finishes the track in a beautiful fashion. This is easily one of my favourite numbers on the album, surpassed only by the closing number, W.A.N.T.

Next up is Hunt of Life, which is, according to the Bandcamp page, a cover of an Icelandic folk song called Krummavísur. But don't expect this to sound Scandinavian. It's a full-on dub track, and the reggae vibe is really very cool. It's too easy for a heavy band to sound cheesy, and very difficult to get right. I can think of only two other heavier bands who have succeeded as well as Ghost Toast do here ? Blindspott and Trio. Of course, this being Ghost Toast, I've learnt by now that the band is unlikely to stick to one style within a song, and it changes towards the end. But, as always, it works. The song is also quite interesting for the lyrics to Krummavísur, along with the spoken introduction, are by Kelly Jenny, who the band appear to have found on YouTube. Intrigued, I couldn't resist searching for Kelly Jenny's YouTube video, and no offence intended to Jenny, but Ghost Toast really take her version to a whole new level of awesome!

From the upbeat Hunt of Life, the melancholic Follow, uh, follows, sounding mystic and mysterious. A psychedelic and spacey treat with an Eastern vibe, almost reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles. And then the guitars pound in at approximately the two-minute mark. Wow! Once again, Ghost Toast know how to make an impact. The riffs are somewhat Black Sabbath-like, and there's a wonderful disparity between the psychedelia and metal playing off against each other. The Eastern vibe continues with Before Anything Happens, at least within the introduction. This is the second shortest track on the album, but it manages to pack a heck of a lot into it, with some more gorgeous piano, and plenty of twists and turns.

The band leave the best until last, though, as I intimated earlier. The final track W.A.N.T. is simply amazing. A feast of samples, riffs and beats that I can't begin to adequately describe. It's aggressive. It's melodic. It's mesmerising. This one track is the entire album in microcosm, and it's as brilliant as the whole. Quite simply, Shape Without Form is one of the most impressive and engaging post- rock albums I've heard. Wow! Just, wow!

Latest members reviews

2 stars The music on Shape Without Form is best described as instrumental symphonic metal. The symphonic instrumentation is more modern sounding and not of the neo-classical or power metal variety. The musicians are obviously skilled. "Frankenstein's" is a fairly decent song. But overall, I find it d ... (read more)

Report this review (#2374751) | Posted by ssmarcus | Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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