Album Review: Dead Cell - Ghost Fields
Reviewed by Tim Finch
A rumble rises from the dark, the clinking of iron, the eerie, haunting rumble grows, gaining traction, getting louder and louder. A keyboard note chimes in the air, more follow. The hairs stand on the back of your neck as the atmosphere intensifies.
This the introduction into the world of Dead Cell, the new project from Bård Linga. You may not be familiar with his name, why should you? Well he did tour stadiums across Europe last summer with Metallica, for his other band is Bokassa – hopefully a name you are more familiar with. But Bokassa, this project is not. Dead Cell is in Linga’s own words “throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks”. The first eminence from Dead Cell is the album ‘Ghost Fields’, dystopian electronic doom, but tinged with hints of dark jazz in places.
The whole album has the feel of the soundtrack to a gritty drama/thriller series from Netflix. It’s the sort of music that keeps you on edge, in suspense the whole time whilst listening; it's telling a story in its own right and keeps the listen gripped. The jazz infusion first rears its head with synthesized trumpets in ‘Ant March’, adding depth to the dark tale being weaved.
Title track ‘Ghost Fields’ kicks off with a softly spoken piano line, repetitive, almost reassuring, the drum line compliments this when it kicks in. But the song gets darker, more haunting before the soft keys return bringing light back to this tale. The whole instrumental recording continues in the same vein; doom melded with keyboards, effects and a small hint of jazz.
The album is not easy listening, but don’t give up after just one listen, it has much to give. With every spin of this record more intricacies are revealed, adding to the listeners experience, its is music you can return to time and time again and find something new every time. It is not an album for the Spotify generation, but given time and effort the expansive dystopian doom on offer will keep you gripped and wanting more. Whilst we are all house bound waiting for coronavirus to clear, why not invest some time in some music and why not start with Dead Cell?