E.P. Review: Great American Ghost – Torture World

E.P. Review: Great American Ghost - Torture World
Reviewed by Sam Jones

I wanted to review something a little different for a change and Great American Ghost soon cropped up and with their newest E.P. no less: Torture World. Based out of Boston, United States the band turned once more to Hardcore-experienced producer Will Putney once again, whose ability has managed to enhance other artists such as Knocked Loose, The Amity Affliction etc. Basically the band knew who they were going to when they wanted their E.P. to sound every bit as ruthless as they wished it to be. Sporting art by the outstanding Paolo Girardi whose brushstrokes will always grab my attention regardless of subgenres they’re applied to, I was rather keen to see what Great American Ghost were all about. I can sometimes being a little green in regards to Hardcore however I have a good hankering for it from time to time. So let’s take a little look into Torture World and unveil precisely what the band can offer us.

It must be said that Great American Ghost host a particularly uncompromising guitar tone and assault on your senses. The riffs you’ll find here are fat, engorged; the band don’t demonstrate a desire for a lean or distilled guitar attack here. The E.P. gives us an undiluted sound that sees all the raw power and abrasive texture of the guitar work void of disturbance. The riffs are allowed all the freedom to move where they want and you’ll certainly feel that scope at times, yet the band don’t just let their sound roam without some restraint. They’ve always got some control over where their songwriting is going, as if you’re barely out of reach from a rabid animal they have on a loosely joined steel chain. A keen Industrial influence also seems to be flowing throughout various riffs here, you can hear it in the way some riffs have this peculiarly mechanical direction whereby they’ll cease abruptly before carrying on once more with strange audio input behind them. The first track, “Kingmaker”, stands as an immediate example of this.

With another track, the title track no less, the band unveil another level of complexity to their sound which may not be suddenly obvious. The vocals for the most part, are an aggressive style that feel like they’re being roared in your face through a rusty microphone, they possess this down to earth and desperate aesthetic that lends them a very real and everyday sensibility. They sound like they could be performed by one of your own peers, however there are moments where the vocals may shift to a cleaner and more refined style that gives the band a more dynamic ability to give us more than what we will initially believe the band have for us. These instances of cleaner vocal deliveries are a great find as the band, instrumentally and aesthetically, aren’t here to hold your hand but rather to smash your head into a wall and see you come crawling back for more. So it’s nice to know the band give us some tonal variety so our experience of this E.P. isn’t so completely pummelling.

Album Review: Great American Ghost – Torture World

If anything I would argue that the real malevolence of this performance stems from how the bass has been played and then mixed into the E.P. It’s nice to know that at most times, you’ll be able to hear the bass playing in the background. If you ask me it’s excellently placed where it doesn’t clash strongly with the primary riffs or vocals but, you’re also able to listen to its elegantly dark tones while losing track of where the songwriting is going. With that said however, the basslines here emit some true evil as they have this especially deep and chunky sounds going on. The bass, much like the rest of the band herein, aren’t here to try and make your stay harmonious and decorous. It’s here to give you that ugly and nasty sensation of experiencing something seismic and listening to the bass, gives us that idea of pinpointing where the epicentre of the E.P.’s evil truly stems from.

In conclusion, I admit that Hardcore really isn’t my forte however I decided to give Great American Ghost a shot and frankly I liked what I found. If these guys were to release an album or another release like this, I’d definitely be on board to checking that out. With only four tracks to play with, the band do a decent job at giving us precisely what you’d expect from such a band and yet there is still plenty to discover that helps Great American Ghost in standing out from their contemporaries. With crushing sequences of riff deliveries and vocals that rock the sound waves, this is certainly an E.P. that isn’t concerned with how people may perceive it. It’s here to shake the earth and at that, I’d fundamentally agree it did so.

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