Friday, April 04, 2014

Review: Ghoul - Hang Ten

Oakland, California's own Ghoul are issuing their second Record Store Day EP with the help from vocalist Tony Foresta from Municipal Waste and ex-Deadbolt vocalist R.A. MacLean via Tankcrimes Records. Their first Record Store Day event, Intermediate Level Hard-Core (reviewed here), was released in 2013 and achieved moderate recognition as it was made up of various covers while this year's effort, Hang Ten, picks up where their 2011 full-length album, Transmission Zero, left off; with a slight indulgence into the barely touched shores of surf metal. Surfs up, does this latest release from the mighty masked grind fiends prevail?

Genre: Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Grindcore
Release Date: April 19th, 2014
  1. The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC
  2. Kreeg
  3. Sidehackers
  4. Hang Ten
  5. Blood on the Street
  6. It Was a Very Good Year
Total Playtime: 17 minutes, 11 seconds









Rating: 8.5/10






Oakland, California's own Ghoul are issuing their second Record Store Day EP with the help from vocalist Tony Foresta from Municipal Waste and ex-Deadbolt vocalist R.A. MacLean via Tankcrimes Records. Their first Record Store Day event, Intermediate Level Hard-Core (reviewed here), was released in 2013 and achieved moderate recognition as it was made up of various covers while this year's effort, Hang Ten, picks up where their 2011 full-length album, Transmission Zero, left off; with a slight indulgence into the barely touched shores of surf metal. Surfs up, does this latest release from the mighty masked grind fiends prevail?

The largest majority of Hang Ten is surf rock inspired instrumental work, with vocals only appearing in "Kreeg" with minor spoken word dispersed around the content. From the embarkation of the album the listener is met with a loud and heavy bass track that lasts throughout the content, giving it the bulk of the surf vibe that it's endowed with. The bass guitar carries most of the material whether it be fast groovy twangs and walking lines like in "Kreeg" or the slow, thundering riff backers in "Blood on the Street"; the bass even emits a mighty solo during the absurdly catchy "Sidehackers". Though while the largest portion of the compositions rest on the shoulders of the bassist that doesn't mean that the other members are slacking at all; pulling off any surf inspired metal album requires all of the instruments to be aligned perfectly.


There's one hell of a drum solo, not to mention rapid fluid drum work, in "Kreeg" and "Hang Ten", which are by far the most powerful songs of the album in all elements combined. The drums really endorse the rhythm and pacing of the guitars and accent the background with the classic hi-hat hits and drum rolls that are needed to pull off this type of sound. The guitars are all over the place with catchy hooks that make you want to jump up and headbang at any given moment, most notably in of course "Kreeg", "Hang Ten" and "Blood on the Street". The last-mentioned track is where the lead guitar shreds the fastest and mightiest, although all throughout Hang Ten there are advanced excursions of shredding glory awaiting the listener, from the more tame segments to high flying finger bleeders.

Hang Ten is hands down the most unique content produced by Ghoul to date. Each track is loaded with surf rock inspired metal riffage, drumming and amazing bass work; however it's not much different than what one would hear from bands such as Goreshack. It's a great idea that's pulled off remarkably well, and it's a vastly unexplored side of metal that needs more involvement and recognition. Worthy of a listen or twenty, definitely give this release by Ghoul a chance before you knock it as there isn't a whole lot out there like it right now.

Digital Download Provided by: Earsplit PR

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