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GHØSTKID - 'HOLLYWOOD SUICIDE' Album Review


Tracklist:

1. HOLYWOOD SUICIDE

2. S3X

3. FSU

4. HEAVY RAIN

5. VALERIE

6. BLACK CLOUD

7. UGLY

8. BLOOD

9. MURDER

10. DAHLIA

11. HELENA DRIVE


On March 22nd, metal project GHØSTKID, fronted by ex-Electric Callboy frontman Sebastian "Sushi" Biesler, return with their second album, 'HOLLYWOOD SUICIDE.'


Up fist we have the title track, "HOLLYWOOD SUICIDE". This track is a phenomenal introduction to the project. It launches straight in with the sound we've come to know from GHØSTKID, with an amazing blend of electronics and heavy instrumentation, showing the industrial influences very proudly on their sleeve. We are also treated to Sushi's instantly recognisable screams, which sound absolutely phenomenal on this track and throughout the album as a whole.


Next up comes "S3X", which slows things down a touch. The intro is spooky and atmospheric, and showcases Sushi's clean vocals, which are just as good as his screams, and the way he flows between the two is absolutely insane, especially for a slower track. The guitar solo is a highlight for this track, guitarists Jappo van Glory and Chris Kisseler, drummer Steve Joakim and Bassist Stanislaw Czywil work together extremely well throughout, and the solo is a nice contrast to the more subdued instrumentation featured throughout the rest of the track.


"FSU" picks the pace back up in spectacular fashion. This high octane offering launches straight in and shows off the raw energy of GHØSTKID that was rampant throughout their 2020 self titled debut. In contrast to the solo of "S3X", "FSU" treats us to a beautifully heavy breakdown, showing the versatility of van Glory, Kisseler, Czywil and Joakim, who's powerful drumming is a standout for me in this breakdown.


"HEAVY RAIN" leans heavily into the more electronic side of GHØSTKID's repertoire, which blends so well with the dark and atmospheric instrumentation. Throughout this track, I can't help but feel that it was inspired by Motionless In White, with Sushi seemingly channelling Chris Motionless with his vocal performance.


Following this is "VALERIE", an even darker effort that crosses back into the industrial metal side of things, being reminiscent of bands like 3TEETH. It is slow and brooding, and absolutely dripping with atmosphere, the versatility that it shows from the band is phenomenal.


The pace is picked back up once again with "BLQCK CLOUD", which showcases the now signature GHØSTKID riffing style of van Glory and Kisseler. It is also one of the best of Sushi's vocal range, with the smooth transitions between cleans and screams once again proving how talented a vocalist he is. It feels to me like it would be have been just as home on 2020's self titled album, which is helped along by the sleek production of returning producer Sky van Hoff.


Up next comes "UGLY". In the verses this track feels like it wouldn't be out of place in a vampire film. Sushi's vocals are once again phenomenal, switching between snarling and crooning, the light and shade in his voice is spectacular. We are once again presented with another breakdown, this one more droning, and heavy instrumentals play so well with the electronic elements towards the end of the song.


Things get more chaotic again in "BLOOD", with the pace ramped up yet again. Joakim's frantic drumming provides a stellar backbone for the track, which is aided once again by the stellar production from van Hoff, who has been a fairly frequent collaborator with Sushi.


Following this is "MURDER", a track with instrumentation that feels like a bridge between Bobby Prince's 1993 original and Mick Gordon's 2016 revamped soundtracks for the Doom video games, and Sushi's vocal style fits this union perfectly.


Penultimate track "DAHLIA" opens with a grandiose intro riff, which then gives way for more pounding electronics. Once again, Joakim's drumming is absolutely phenomenal, and Czywil's bassline matches the drumming perfectly. I know for a fact that the breakdown of this song will be absolutely monstrous at their live shows, continuing the phenomenal energy that is prevalent throughout all of GHØSTKID'S discography.


Closing out the album, we come to "HELENA DRIVE" a very unexpected left turn into the realms of pop rock. It's a softer end to the album than I was anticipating, but there are some heavy elements that still creep in during the chorus, chiefly van Glory and Kisseler's guitars. This type of genre-bending is, in my opinion, what makes GHØSTKID truly great.


Throughout 'HOLLYWOOD SUICIDE' runs a story of the sacrifices that must come on an artist's journey to make it big in the music industry. Unlike a lot of concept albums, particular in the metal scene, this story doesn't necessarily take the spotlight, but allows the pace and tone of the instrumentations thought the different tracks carry it forward, and this is something that I absolutely love. A lot of artists suffer from sophomore slumps, but this is not the case with 'HOLLYWOOD SUICIDE', and GHØSTKID have proved in spectacular fashion that they're here to stay.


Website - ghost-kid.de



Review - Gordon Rae


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