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Ghoul: Dungeon Bastards

There are times when all I want to do is listen to Ghoul. I've had Dungeon Bastards on a steady rotation over the last couple of weeks and I like it more and more with each listen. To me, the best things about the band are its virtuosity (especially in the drums and the guitars) and its relentless commitment to punk-infused thrash music. Here's a band that understands how playful this music can be, especially when the music is so intense. The band's music, known by the term splatterthrash, blends punk rock with thrash metal but does so with hearty doses of comedy, horror, and theatricality. I especially love the band's album art, not only on this release but on all the others. Here's a band that understands the importance of the underground look, feel, and style. Ghoul embraces punk rock in ways most bands wish they could.

I'm honestly not sure who the current members of the band are, but the performances on this release are superb. The drumming is relentless and impressive, a thrashers dream come true. The twin guitar attacks are equally impressive. There are moments when the guitars play some of the best runs and solos I've heard lately. The title track has some guitar passages that simply took my breath away. Not everyone will like the vocals here, but they suit the band's sound and image. Cannibals don't sing clean vocals. I'm sure that some people will be turned off by the band's cannibal masks and horror-themed songs, but those who actually listen to this band will know that Ghoul is a band with a sense of humor. I've never seen Ghoul live (the band couldn't make it to the Salt Lake City stop on the most recent tour) but I'm going to assume this band needs to be experienced on stage, mostly because the costumes, the props, and the music belong together. And yet, the band consistently delivers solid recordings.

This album, Ghoul's fifth, offers listeners a handful of solid tracks, including at least one indispensible song, "Ghoulunatics." If Judas Priest can set themselves up as "Metal Gods," then surely Ghoul can identify its fans with a tongue-in-cheek track that is both cool and memorable. I especially love the line about making sure everyone picks up some merch at the shows. I also really enjoyed "Guitarmageddon," a track that draws on sound bites from various sources to comment on the problem of nuclear attacks. "Word is Law," another memorable track, has a nice shout out loud chorus that will surely help it become a crowd-pleaser on stage. seems like another crowd-pleasing number. Other highlights include "Bringer of War," "Dungeon Bastards," and "Abominox." This is an excellent new album from a cool band that deserves a wider audience.

Track Listing:
1. Ghetto Blasters
2. Bringer of War
3. Shred the Dead
4. Dungeon Bastards
5. Ghoulunatics
6. Blood and Guts
7. Word is Law
8. Death Campaign
9. Guitarmaggeddon
10. Abominox

Added: August 29th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1758
Language: english

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