|Review: Unholy Ghost - Torrential Reign|
Label: Olympic Recordings
Year released: 2004
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: April 9, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 2.38/5 (47.5%) (8 Votes)
This is the debut for Tampa-based Unholy Ghost, who have been lucky enough to secure Olympic/Century Media promotion this early in their careers. It's easy to see why this band was picked up so fast, and it's sort of depressing.
Let me start by making it clear that Unholy Ghost are bringing ab-so-lutely nothing new to death metal. This is the sort of brutal, double-bass infested smashing that has been a staple of the Florida scene for over 15 years now. If you have ever heard Morbid Angel or Malevolent Creation, then you have heard everything there is to hear about Unholy Ghost. It is really amazing that aside from the modern punch of the production, this album sounds exactly like a dozen other albums released around 1990. Therein lies the strength and the weakness of this band. On the one hand, if you like Florida-style death metal, then this is a sure bet for an enjoyable listen, because what they do, Unholy Ghost do very well. On the other hand, you have heard this all before, so unless you are a deathhead who cannot get enough, there is really little reason to get excited about this album.
Now that is not to say Unholy Ghost are no fun, they are. This is a brutal slab of good-ol' death that more than makes up with savagery what it lacks in originality. Yes all the songs sound pretty much alike, no there is really nothing to distinguish this band from a hundred others except that Unholy Ghost are tighter, heavier, and well-produced.
And that's what I find sort of depressing about this disc. So many bands of sterling quality toil in the underground for years without recognition, but here we have a clone band (a good one, but still a clone) picked up by a major label after less than a year of existence. Why? Precisely because there is nothing new about their sound, and the marketing execs know they can peddle it without any effort at all. A sad state our underground is in here in the US my friends.
So for shameless Morbid Angel Worship, this is pretty darned good. And I certainly prefer it over the Cannibal Corpse worship that seems to overwhelm the US scene most of the time. If you are going to copy another band's style, it should be a band that doesn't suck. Unholy Ghost are nothing original, but for fans of the genre they dish up a good brew.
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