Ghost Avenue: Ghost Avenue

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Ghost Avenue: Ghost Avenue
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Ghost Avenue: Ghost Avenue
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Pitch Black Records
October 8th, 2013
Release length: 49:28
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Formed in Norway back in 2002, Ghost Avenue has put their share of blood and sweat into years of touring and growing as a band. Originally named Ghost, the band issued their first demo titled Time Will Tell in 2005, and didn’t head back into the studio until 2009’s Days Undercover. 2010 found the band really pushing for exposure, issuing their debut full-length The Engraving, as well as appearing on the Kill City 23 and Norsk Urskog Vol. 3 compilations. Nowadays, the band goes under the name Ghost Avenue, and have been picked up by Pitch Black Records to release a proper self-titled album. But, does Ghost Avenue stand tall, or is this just another effort bound to be lost in the flood of Heavy Metal laced Hard Rock groups?

Ghost Avenue has a slight rougher audio quality that captures the spirit of eighties Hard Rock and Heavy Metal perfectly, much of which is performed with great enthusiasm that is immediately apparent thanks to “Ghost Avenue.” The introductory riffs set up a truly epic atmosphere that the catchy leads and strong bass performance further establish. With a hint of cheese in the lyrics, the main verses offer up some standard Heavy Metal in the vein of bands like Hammerfall that immediately hook the listener with an infectious and memorable chorus that shows a band having fun with the music, and letting the studio capture it all. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Tree” has a heavy focus on the bass against some catchy hooks, especially during the bridges. The pace does slow down in some verses, allowing some deeper notes to come in and help build up to the strong melodic chorus with a more evident Metal influence compared to the largely Hard Rock foundation everywhere else in the performance.

“The Hunt” carries that gritty eighties Hard Rock vibe perfectly with a chorus that has a hint of Glam due to the lighter melodies that appear. The bridges throughout have an edgier chug to them that carries a deeper tuning, adding a little tension to the mix. The rest of the music, especially the uplifting guitar solo, does make those bridges feel out of place despite its effectiveness, but it really is hard to imagine anything else taking place of what exists, making it a decision you’ll have to grin and bare with. “Out on the Street,” however, drags that dirtier vibe down into the darker alley ways. The enthusiastic vocals make the chorus impossible to not want to sing along to, while the guitars and drumming make it impossible to not bang your head with the groove that the louder bass helps to accentuate.

Sadly, not every song here is a hit. “Two Drinks” isn’t a bad song, but overall is your standard Hard Rock offering without much lasting appeal outside the chorus. The melody mixed with lyrics about a vice are fun when mixed together and will surely stick out to many, but doesn’t offer much else to keep the listener coming back for this cut in particular. “Treasure Chest” is a bit more laid back, which causes some of the bite to be lost. The chorus has a little extra melody to it that helps stir up some infectious riffs the main verses really lack, and there isn’t much energy due to the mid-tempo pace. The brief guitar solo does show a little extra enthusiasm, but not enough to keep hold of the listener. This could also go for the rather typical Rock offering “Crazy Eyes,” as well as “All I Can Say.” The only exception to the second of those is that it picks up about half way through, carrying a bit of an emotional touch to the atmosphere that only gets richer the deeper you get, helping the closing to really stand out.

Ghost Avenue is a glorious love letter to the days of eighties W.A.S.P.-style Hard Rock with fun and powerful Heavy Metal worship of the same era that any fan of the genre will love. There’s a good chunk of songs that just don’t stick out too much, but thankfully are far from filler and worth the ride until they get worn out and have you hitting the skip button on later spins. Despite the previous outings, this release through Pitch Black Records seems like the gold at the end of the rainbow, showcasing all the years of hard work the members have put in over the years that finally have a chance to pay off on a grander scale than anything released before hand. Ghost Avenue take advantage of this new path in their career by presenting some of their strongest material to date, asserting their strength to stand out in the Metal world with many cuts that will stay lodged in your head on repeat for a long time.

01. Ghost Avenue – 4:30
02. Rock ‘n’ Roll Tree – 4:29
03. The Hunt – 3:52
04. Right Direction – 3:50
05. Crazy Eyes – 5:14
06. Treasure Chest – 3:57
07. All I Can Say – 4:49
08. Out on the Street – 4:57
09. When the Going – 4:12
10. Legacy – 4:19
11. Two Drinks – 5:18
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Ghost Avenue
Ghost Avenue

Digital review copy of this release provided by Pitch Black Records.