Eager anticipation and high expectations often go hand in hand when facing the successor to a release which lit the fires of true pleasure and both were eager participants going into the first listen of the new album from US metallers for The Ghost Next Door. A Feast For The Sixth Sense is the successor to the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut of four years back and very quickly more than lived up to hopes, intrigue, and expectancy the news of its impending arrival inspired.
Hailing from Berkeley, California, The Ghost Next Door was founded by vocalist/guitarist Gary Wendt (ex-Skinlab, Sacrilege B.C.) and spent its early years playing around California whilst nurturing a sound marrying “the dark melancholy of 80’s and 90’s alternative with the aggression and drive of Bay Area metal.” It was when the outfit disbanded though that perversely things shifted and the band found a place within a broader wealth of appetites. In that period Wendt continued to work on recordings already underway with that first album emerging via Mausoleum Records to great responses and praise which in turn led to the band reforming. Since then they have shared stages with the likes of DRI, SpiralArms, Dr. Know, and Comes with the Fall amongst many while working on the successor to that well-received debut. Now we have A Feast For The Sixth Sense and it is easy to say that it leaves that previous treat well behind in its creative wake.
The band’s sound is not so hard to tag but equally not easy to really pin down. It is labelled alternative metal for the main but embraces a host of flavours within the metal/rock landscape as quickly shown by album opener Deadworld. Dark shadows immediately loom over the senses, their atmospheric flight as portentous as it is inviting before an ear gripping bassline from Noah Whitfield ventures into ears and imagination. It carries alluring drama which is swiftly embraced too by the guitars of Wendt and Aaron Asghari as all the while the dangerously flirtatious beats of Sebastien Castelain bounce along. Bordering on the claustrophobic, those heavy shadows continue to lurk as the song relaxes into its almost swinging stroll, they and the sound itself crowding the senses as Wendt’s potent tones join the emerging doom infested temptation. Already a web of styles and flavours converge on the song and imagination, a mix only enticing with greater craft and adventure as the track continues.
It is a thickly seductive and threateningly magnetic start to the album quickly matched in power and invention by Fodder for the Meat Grinder. A far more energetic proposition as grooves link up with spirited boisterousness, the song still openly shares a matching enterprise and imagination to its predecessor. The agility of Castelain’s beats collude eagerly with the brooding throat of Whitfield’s bass as all the while infectious grooves entangle the thrust of hungry riffs, the only thing restraining their voracity being the melodic passages and calms which also only add to the highly infectious song’s impressive landscape.
Doubt follows and swiftly instils its own contagious character in ears and appetite. Though not an aggressive onslaught there is a predacious edge to its breath and enterprise which alone grips attention; a hue just as potent within Wendt’s mix of melodic and growling vocals. As similarly melodic wires sprung from a web of metal diversity and sonic radiance bred further flames of such flair, the song just enthralled before making way for the darker cosmic drama of Event Horizon. Again bold rhythms make for an irresistible coaxing into the inescapable eye of the tempest intimated in sound and the lyrical prowess and observation which fuels the roar of A Feast For The Sixth Sense as predatory animation soaks all.
Through the southern lined creative confrontation of American Nightmare and the ravening prowl and subsequent trespass of Behind the Mask, the album only firmed its grip on enjoyment while LCD proved itself a temptress with ire in her voice and devious temptation in her movement. The song has as many post punk and alternative rock traits as it does melodic and nu metal attributes and all going to create one of the album’s compelling pinnacles.
Exclusive to the digital and CD release of the album, the pair of I Am Become Death and The Sacrifice Person brings their own fresh aspects to the nature of the release. The first is spun from a mix of melodic and alternative metal with grunge and progressive rock fibres and swiftly captured the imagination with the second seeded in a similar composition but blossoming its own unique melodic fascination. As much as the urge here is always towards listening to great releases on vinyl there is no way either of these delicious offerings should be missed.
The album ends with Stop Here On Red; another song which certainly at first is embroiled in the great gothic/post punk sounds of the eighties, early Killing Joke coming to mind throughout the outstanding close to an equally riveting and thrilling release. Winding itself around the senses in sheer sonic temptation, the track equally showed itself adept at new wave-esque twists and melodic suggestiveness ensuring that the only urge on its departure was to explore over again.
As much as we enjoyed the first album from The Ghost Next Door that pleasure is replaced by a lustier passion for A Feast For The Sixth Sense and the thought that it is high time that the band is stalked by major attention.
A Feast For The Sixth Sense is out now via Ripple Music across most stores and @ https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/a-feast-for-the-sixth-sense
Pete RingMaster 14/03/2019
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright