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GHOST TOAST

Heavy Prog • Hungary


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Ghost Toast biography
The band was formed in Debrecen, Hungary in 2008 with 3 members Bence ROZSAVOLGYI (guitar), Laszlo PAPP (drums) and Janos Stefan (bass). Janos PUSKER (keyboards, cello) joined later in 2009. The music comes equally from the four members improvisations during rehearsals. The first album "Toast in the Shell" from 2010 is the result of the work of a band searching to find their way through many moods and styles from the metal, to drum n' bass and even waltz music. In 2013, they released their second album "There is No en..." which is showing the path and the long way the band has taken since 2008. Their music is mostly instrumental and combines Prog Rock with Metal. The use of the Cello and some electronic effects gives a unique sound and the songs structures shows a band that enjoy creating different atmosphere through their music. The sound of the music have some similarity with FATES WARNING and TOOL.

Bio by rdtprog

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GHOST TOAST discography


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GHOST TOAST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.22 | 9 ratings
Toast in the Shell
2011
3.63 | 16 ratings
There Is No En...
2013
4.08 | 31 ratings
Out of This World
2017
3.66 | 78 ratings
Shape Without Form
2020
3.82 | 31 ratings
Shade Without Color
2022

GHOST TOAST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GHOST TOAST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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GHOST TOAST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Shade Without Color by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Shade Without Color
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars An instrumental group from Hungary releases 'Shade Without Color' after 2020's 'Shape Without Form', originally it was to be a double album, well here already more than an hour to put their sound in your ears, it's is not bad. Both tracks are taken from the poem The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot and both albums deal primarily with the subject of emptiness, the process of achieving it.

A sound stamped heavy prog that I will gladly fit into a post heavy prog stoner, if you see the subtlety. An album that is easy to listen to with incisive 'Get Rid Of', marking the imprint of the group and well-placed quotes, 'Leaders' more post than heavy, 'Chasing Time' the longest title and jam with sudden breaks, more spleen too. 'Let Me Be No Nearer' with this Arabic intro on a MYRATH, a crazy HAWKWIND sound, to the ORESOUND SPACE COLLECTIVE for the soaring violin, guitar, bass and tinkering. The final female voice brings sensuality. 'Acceptance' on a singular air, jazz-rock, groovy, atmospheric, vocals in the background, innovative. 'Deliberate Disguises' arrives, much more metal, almost syncopated, a bath of youth always with some voices which make you forget that we are on instrumental. 'Reaper Man' oriental intro before leaving on a heavy and electronic rhythmic tune; a tune ŕ la QUANTUM FANTAY, it becomes captivating; the nervous finale that explodes and definitely gets you moving! Symphonic electronic 'Whimper', between an EPICA, a RAMMSTEIN, a THERION, it moves; a heavy riff there yes it is on, a solemn apocalyptic rise with 'The Hollow Man' quoted. 'Rejtekből' as a finale on an atmospheric crescendo, lamenting Middle Eastern female voice, the divine cello with clear percussion giving the atmosphere, a jewel.

Attention, trap album which 'does not look like' at the start; very quickly, there are pearls, jewels with lots of carats in there, it's just magnificent and stunning. An album to own and listen to on certain evenings as a cinematic base, bewitching post-rock.

 Shade Without Color by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Shade Without Color
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Hailing from Debrecen, Hungary, the hilariously named GHOST TOAST has existed now for almost fourteen years originally as a trio but soon would add a keyboard player to craft the band's own version of moody and oft dark progressive rock. In recent years though GHOST TOAST has added more metallic heft to their sound giving them the extra oomf that their melancholic style of prog was looking for. Fast forward to 2022 and these Hungarians release the fifth album SHADE WITHOUT COLOR which sees a change of drumming duties with long time percussionist László Papp leaving and Zoltán Cserős taking over the duties.

Based on a title from the T.S. Elliot poem "The Hollow Men," SHADE WITHOUT COLOR follows the same thematic approach as the previous "Shade Without Form" with the overall thematic subject matter of the feeling of emptiness, incompleteness and that basic hole in your soul got dem cozmic blues subject matter. Like many a modern prog act, GHOST TOAST too wears a lot of influences on its sleeve but i find the most all encompassing is the heavy prog / space rock hybrid approach of classic Porcupine Tree with moody complex atmospheric textures and proggy heavy rock that never strays too far from melodic resolution.

SUN WITHOUT COLOR is a lengthy beast clocking in at over 67 minutes with nine tracks ranging from the six minute range to the longest track "Leaders" finding its way over twelve. Basically what GHOST TOAST delivers on SUN WITHOUT COLOR is a style of prog that offers a post-rock cyclical riffing style of deliver that allows the synthesizers and production to add the subtle nuances. This is also a singing-free album and i say that because while there is no vocalist that sings in the traditional way, there are plenty of vocal samples form narrated clips that are mined from films, books, poems and interviews and randomly pop up. This is perhaps one of the most telling Steven Wilson worship signs of all as the album often sounds like a version of Porcupine Tree's "Lightbulb Sun," the second coming. Likewise there are also some wordless female vocals that pop up from time to time.

The production on SHADE WITHOUT COLOR is flawless with every nuanced slide of notes fading into the perfect pitch and the mixing reaching impeccable heights. The album is also well paced with well placed sustained notes, rich textured atmospheres, keyboard melodic touches and the more hefty metal chugging that has earned GHOST TOAST some crossover appeal for those who love themselves some Riverside, Tool or Russian Circles. The extra icing on the cake is the occasional use of the cello which offers a haunting effect to the soundscapes at hand. This is especially effective on the chilling "Let Me Be No Nearer" which takes on a mellower approach and one of the few tracks that eschews the heavier rock however the cello finds its way into the very fabric of the album's run at key moments.

There's a lot to love on SHADE WITHOUT COLOR but ultimately it leaves me unsatisfied as the Porcupine Tree influences are a bit too obvious with drumming patterns, keyboard chord progressions and the dreamy soundscapes accompanied by spoken word segments. It's just too close to the original source for my ears and i've never really found Steven Wilson influenced projects to resonate with the same veracity as the original source. Somehow Wilson has cornered the market on his stylistic approach and anyone who dares follow in those footsteps just sounds like a clone in many ways. Still though this album isn't just another PT album by any means but the core mixing effects are a bit too close for comfort. All in all this an enjoyable release as there are really no bad tracks but the formula does wear thing by the time i get to the end. A very good album but not something that really gets my juices flowing either.

3.5 rounded down

 Out of This World by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.08 | 31 ratings

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Out of This World
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Hungarian band Ghost Toast is getting some serious attention, after years of relative oblivion, mainly because their latest 2022 album is high on most prog charts. As per norm, I read a rather glowing review from a colleague which got me intrigued, proceeding to latch onto the 2017 Out of This World album. The interest stems from the fact that contrary to popular belief, I am not just fixated on mellower, idealistic melodies, as I do love the heavy hitting, especially when its not an overt technical display and possesses loads of atmosphere. This Debrecen-based band infuses sound effects but mostly voiced tapes from speeches or film scripts, only rarely using real vocals, in order to add the appropriate story to the incredibly technically profound music they dish out. The crew is composed of four supremely talented musicians, namely guitarist Bence Rozsavolgyi, drummer Laszlo Papp (same name as a legendary Hungarian boxer), bassist Janos Stefan and keyboardist /cellist Janos Pusker. Their musical recipe is quite original in the use of effects but their instrumental prowess verges on the insane, stretching from one extreme, all the way to the other end of the spectrum, either very hard or very soft. No plodding to be found here! It has been stated that one of the interesting aspects of Led Zeppelin was the particular symbiosis between Page's riffs and the ability of Bonham to specifically interplay his beats and fills with him. I feel that the same recipe exists here as Papp and Rozsavolgyi seem to be devilishly in synch throughout this release.

I stuck in CD into my van's player, ready for a 3-hour drive to Quebec City for work, cranked up the volume and pressed the pedal. The record kicks off with a few seconds of keyboard serenity before the musical cyclone hits, the electric guitar powerfully blasting in between the hard drum flexes, as the supple bass climbs up and down the north/south ladder while the mood cleverly swings to the east/west guitars clearing the way ahead. Thank you very much in Hungarian!

"Gordius" (name of the Phrygian king who was responsible for the Gordian Knot) follows pretty much the same formula, a chugging slice of brash adventure with vibrant modern synths that almost hints at techno, as Bence and Laszlo assault the senses with utter impunity. Yes, they can play the contrasts, with constant ebb and flow, peaks, and valleys! The mournful cello adds nearly classical grace and elegance to the aural landscape. When the track ends, the silence is deafening. Phew!

Time to seek out new atmospheres as the hypnotic electronic effects as well as whispered voices and twinkling piano add unexpected and spectral mystery to "Alia". The polyrhythmic drum shuffle slowly evolves into a mental spiral where only that lovely cello seems to have any semblance of direction as the piece grows into more sorrow and melancholia. The final 2 minutes the emphasis is now on the bass-led groove that blossomed out of all this sonic nirvana. Cleverly brilliant.

The meat of the album gets more precise and focused on the hugely cinematic "The Dragon's Tail" with a bombastic edge that elevates the celestial intensity, veering into symphonic prog territory. Piano and synths lead the syncopated percussive fills to perfection, and you just feel the impending guitar onslaught just waiting to be unleashed in the last three minutes. Boom! Papp is quite colossal here, thumping like a madman. The glorious cello escorts the Dragon back to his cavern, holding him by his appendage.

Change of pace? You bet! "Minotaur" at first sounds like a Gavin Harrison shuffle on a Porcupine Tree album, with pinging synths and assorted bubbly electronics a la Barbieri. The cello enters again to further flavor the eclectic groove, setting up the noisy guitar slashes pulling up the rear. And then the band decide to start cooking some hot music, rambling piano not withstanding. Rapid, devastating and extremely powerful. Breathtaking.

Time for a bit longer epic piece, the 8 minute 13 of "Kaia" (an ancient Greek word which can be any of the following, your choice: pure, each of two, one hundred, far away or ?. torture!), a sprawling excursion that has obsessive and angelic voices, swerving bass and manic drums. Almost a heavier version of Ozric Tentacles' style of galactic adventure.

Doomsday messages of germ warfare aka class One emergency introduces the viral and hyper hostile "Last Man "(mostly taken from Classic movies as I detect the voice of Vincent Price). A nasty piece of bullying, harsh, feverish and pugnacious music, being both punishing and relentless. I love it because the aggressive nature does not overstay its welcome and gives room for some softer moments, again from the cello or from the zippy synths, but when the boys explode, well it really goes kapow! I even had a giggle at thought that this would be a great companion piece to Jon & Vangelis' classic the Friends of Mister Cairo but way heavier. LOL. Tremendous excitement.

The Sanskrit language "Ishvara" takes that Hindu feel to otherworldly dimensions, a more ethno-world electronic piece at the beginning, with wailing male and female prayers to Shiva. Totally unexpected experimental voyage with complex rhythmics accentuated by intricate guitar, bass, and drumming. Little hints of fellow Hungarian proggers Colorstar and Korai Orom here. Exotic in a modern setting.

The curtain comes down on the at first harsh and then exquisitely gentle "Pawn of Fate", which after the initial fury of raging riffs morphs into sounding almost like a Hungarian folk/medieval soundscape. In the course of a 3-minute song that is quite a feat!

I can see why this will appeal to a whole cross section of fans even outside of the conventional "prog" medium, not just from metal heads, but fans of Tool, Metallica, Mahavishnu Orchestra (though really not fusion), Nemo (without the vocals), etc? Bottom line, a fantastically talented new kid in my town, as I proceeded to purchase all their albums. Spoiler Alert: The next two are as good if not even better! yup

4 Spectral satellites

 Shade Without Color by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Shade Without Color
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

"This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper."

Quite possibly the most famous and most quoted words from T S Eliot, ending his poem The Hollow Men. Hungary's Ghost Toast, however, have chosen to use different words from the same poem to title their most recent two albums. On 3rd March 2020, Shape Without Form was released, and two years later, to the day, it has been followed by Shade Without Color. Both albums showcase an idiosyncratic blend of musical styles built up from an atmospheric and cinematic post-rock base.

"Shape without form, shade without color

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom."

While each of the companion albums reference the text of the poem, often the songs are thematically linked, without any direct relationship. This allows for a concept with a broader scope, and Ghost Toast have used a number of other famous stories or films to describe the world of the hollow men. In fact, on Shape Without Form, there was only one obvious reference to the poem, as Marlon Brandon's character from Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz, read out Eliot's The Hollow Men. In the film, this was quite a clever reference, as Eliot's poem was inspired by Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, which Apocalypse Now was based on. These words were spoken over the final track of Shape Without Form, titled W.A.N.T. - which stood for 'We are not them'. I took this to mean that Ghost Toast were stating emphatically that they were not hollow men.

But who are those hollow men? Well, given recent events, it is all too easy to read into the topics of Shade Without Color individuals and events that surely couldn't have been predicted by the band. Their timing has been impeccable, even if only accidentally prescient. Hungary, of course, is a neighbouring country of Ukraine, and given that Eliot's poem was based upon the inhumanity of war, it must have left the band somewhat uneasy as to whether to release the album as planned. However, Ghost Toast have openly condemned the aggression of Russia's war, and expressed compassion towards Ukraine and all Ukrainians. The theme that runs through Ghost Toast's album and the messages driven home by it are proven horrifyingly accurate by Putin's war against Ukraine. This album seems a great deal heavier than the previous one, and it's hard to know just how much of this added weight is due to unintentional association of the inhumanity of war as espoused by Eliot and Ghost Toast, and the inhumanity of war as carried out against Ukraine by Russia.

Even the opening number of this new album is heavier and darker than its predecessor. Unlike the delicate and beautiful introduction to Shape Without Form, Shade Without Color thunders into being with Get Rid Of, and fluctuates in tempo and mood like The Velvet Underground's Heroin. I make this comparison as the song seems to be about getting rid of the monkey on one's back, and not only is heroin one big old monkey, but it also fits with the quotation Ghost Toast provide from George Bernard Shaw about being attached to one's burdens. However, I can't help feel that Ghost Toast have implanted several layers of meaning to this opening number ? which is quite a feat, given the lack of lyrics. And yet, that feeling remains. Could that burden be something more sinister? I know I have my thoughts, but I won't share them because they may be wrong, and they also fill me with unease.

It is partially the fault of the following song, Leaders, which makes me wonder about carefully veiled meanings and metaphors. The song is about how power doesn't corrupt, so much as attract those who are corrupt, or corruptible, and includes a quote from Frank Herbert. Although Dune and Heart of Darkness are very different novels, both concern lightness and darkness, an exploration of an unknown world, and the possibility of "a man who had gone too native". So again, it is relatively easy to tie it back to The Hollow Men, and recognise that it is all too often the leaders of countries who are Eliot's hollow men, or Conrad's "hollow sham, hollow at the core". Or, indeed, 1984's Big Brother whose lines were interpolated with Kurtz within W.A.N.T. Furthermore, it is when we are most at ease, lulled into a false sense of security, that the most corrupt of hollow leaders move, hence the end of the world (as we know it) occurs without a bang. History shows time and time again how countries tend to sleepwalk into fascism and totalitarianism. We never seem to learn.

The next track, Chasing Time, seems only to underscore this. The given quote is about how scars have a power to remind us of our past. That is the glass half-full. The glass half-empty is that scars fade over time, and people forget about them. Wars and genocides occur that people are certain will never be repeated.

"Remember us - if at all - not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men"

The quote above comes from the end of the first section of Eliot's poem. The title of the next track is a line from the second section, and along with another track using the words from The Hollow Men for its title, bookends a track called Acceptance. Without even listening to them, from the moment I saw them in the track listing, I assumed from their titles that this sequence of tracks was clearly the centrepiece of the album for a reason. And there is no getting around how impressive all three are. Let Me Be No Nearer is dramatically different from all that's come before it, which makes it incredibly impactful. Acceptance is different again, and it is the most upbeat and positive sounding number on the album so far. But is it all a mask? At the midpoint, there is a dramatic shift, which completely took me by surprise the first time I listened, before the lighter tone returns. Then, Deliberate Disguises, which is easily one of my favourite tracks on the album ? and I love that the sample is from The Neverending Story. Of course, the quotation is pertinent, describing the Nothing (or should that be the Hollow), and how people who have no hopes are the easiest to control. It probably goes without saying that the hollow men who hold power and have the control tend to wear deliberate disguises in order to deceive their population that they are doing what they do for the benefit of the people, and not for themselves?

"Let me be no nearer

In death's dream kingdom

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises"

As we approach the end of the album, I love that Ghost Toast have not gone out with a whimper, for Whimper is only the penultimate track. After the advent of thermonuclear weapons, Eliot was asked if he wrote The Hollow Men then, would he still have used the same final line. Because he thought it would inescapably be associated with thermonuclear bombs; and also because he was no longer sure that the world would end, due to the belief widely held, that the leader of one country would be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as their own could be destroyed as a consequence. A shared aversion of mutual destruction. By choosing not to end Shade Without Color with Whimper, are Ghost Toast showing the same cautious optimism as Eliot? Given recent events, I rather hope that optimism is not misplaced, or we may all be the victims of hollow men.

 Shade Without Color by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Shade Without Color
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars From Hungary! Yes! These polished artists have here created some heavy prog textures with sounds and motifs from other styles and ethnicities (many Middle Eastern/Arabic) to deliver politically-purposed sampled messages from world personalities.

1. "Get Rid Of" (6:00) (8.667/10)

2. "Leaders" (6:51) Awesome grungy music supporting some awesome, cogent quotes from world personalities. A top three song for me. (13.5/15)

3. "Chasing Time" (12:18) good, solid metal jamming with some great catchy riffs and motifs but nothing really amazing or innovative to make this one stand out. (21.25/25)

4. "Let Me Be No Nearer" (7:14) Arabian Reggae? I thought only MYRATH could do this! Don't worry: it goes full metal in the middle (but then it goes ENIGMA melodic!). I like the voice & presence of the female vocalist. (12.5/15)

5. "Acceptance" (5:37) a little jazz/R&B with attitude! Same formula where it gets heavy in the middle before redirecting into something with some pop elements and then trying to go heavy again. (8.5/10)

6. "Deliberate Disguises" (4:54) machine gun guitar metal with near-disco beat. Fine for its ilk. Good riff-stops in the middle followed by eerie vocal samples. For a true metal song, I actually like it! One of my other top three songs. (8.75/10)

7. "Reaper Man" (9:20) more Arabian sounds--though in the realm of subtleties. If all Prog Metal were like this and the previous song, I might become a convert! At times, because of the long instrumental passages and rhythmic shifts, I feel as if I'm listening to a recording of a Blue Man Group concert--or a heavier side of Ed Wynne/OZRIC TENTACLES. They even throw in some of the keyboard sounds and soft passages from THE CURE! (17.667/20)

8. "Whimper" (8:15) too RUSH-like with not enough variety and separation to keep me engaged--until the second half when a passage of delicately picked electric guitar plays out for a bit before being joined by ADIEMUS-like drums. NIce effect from the Mellotron behind the music and voice quote sample of T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Man". (13/15)

9. "Rejtekből (6:49) is a continuation from the previous song, using the synth washes to transition to a more ENIGMA/HYPNO5E-like song with cool Arabian female vocalise and cello over the top of a weave of some interesting Middle Eastern percussives. Great chord progression behind cello and vocal sample in the final two minutes. Great atmospheric song and my other top three. (13.25/15)

Total Time 67:18

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

 Shade Without Color by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Shade Without Color
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by WJA-K

4 stars This was my first taste of Ghost Toast. I am pleasantly surprised!

This group of marvellous instrumentalists from Hungary don't push boundaries or present something shockingly new. But they present us with an enjoyable record.

The band doesn't sing, but the record has plenty of lyrics. Most songs have different sound clips from films, citations from books, or interviews. These bring the message forward in a poignant way. Probably better than they could have done themselves.

Ghost Toast found inspiration from all kinds of places, which resulted in a diverse prog album. Their strength lies in binding it all together to a fresh and beautiful whole.

Get Rid Of starts the album heavily. Very much in the style of Rush with a bit of Metallica. I expected the whole album would be like this, but I was wrong 8/10

Leaders is track two, going in a totally different direction. Far more spacey and melodic, with synths and piano. Added to that, are great quotes from Frank Herbert discussing issues with leaders. This is a great track. 9/10

Chasing Time is the longest track on the album, being more than 12 minutes. It brings us yet another sound of Ghost Toast with some Frippertronics before a cello takes over. Then we enter a heavy metal part with some great drumming ad guitar. Many ebbs and flows here, with more hints towards King Crimson, amongst many others. I do wonder why it needed to be this long, although I enjoyed it from start to finish. 7.5/10

Let Me Be No Nearer opens with a beautiful cello and the whole track takes us to the middle east. Although I also believe to hear a reggae beat. But also this song will change dynamics often, with harder and softer parts and some actual singing, by a beautiful female voice. 8/10

Acceptance is lighter and very rhythmic. With some rhythmic shifts here and there and the sound clip is from Jim Carrey. With some wise words. "Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world." 8/10

Deliberate Disguises is another heavier track with some thrash metal. A nice track, but nothing special. 6.5/10

Reaper Man is another fast-paced song. But then longer, clocking 9 minutes. It has its quieter moments and everything is tied together by a drum sticking to the theme. 7.5/10

Whimper is another metal track. Three in a row. Where the first part of the album was very diverse, here we have three songs that are very much alike. Not bad, but also not as good as earlier on the album 7/10

Rejtekbol is the final track and is very chill. It has the beautiful female voice and the cello again. It is a great closer to this album.

This album is 67 minutes. I argue it could have been a bit shorter by skipping one or two of the heavier tracks at the end. I rate this one 3.5 stars. Rounding it up to 4 because of the energy it gives me listening to it.

 Shape Without Form by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 78 ratings

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Shape Without Form
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

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!

 Shape Without Form by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 78 ratings

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Shape Without Form
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by ssmarcus

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 difficult to get behind this record being instrumental. There is simply not enough melody in the rhythm section or synth and piano parts throughout the songs to justify the lack of lead vocals. Good instrumental metal is not just run of the mill metal riffage minus the vocals. Rather, the music must make a concerted effort to say something over and above to compensate for the usual melodic driver. Think Plini or even Animals As Leaders where the music, despite being instrumental, can often be hummed along to. Ghost Toast on this record seems to be having none of it.

 Shape Without Form by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 78 ratings

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Shape Without Form
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.
 Shape Without Form by GHOST TOAST album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.66 | 78 ratings

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Shape Without Form
Ghost Toast Heavy Prog

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.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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