BY: CHRIS HORTON
Take what you expect from a local metal band, and throw it off a fucking overpass.
Solomon’s Ghost is relatively new on the Savannah metal scene, and recently have been the “scourge of Statesboro”, tearing it up with fellow metal acts Awaken The Dawn, Pridemeat, Sincision at Big Show’s..
I’ve had the chance to check them out live, so hearing how their material transfers to recording has been a real experience.
Yes, it sounds exactly how it looks. This pic. All the metal.
It’s hard to sum up their sound, because it covers a lot…and I mean a LOT of different ground. There is groove metal, blast beats, clean melodic parts, and all out thrash. But there is a softer side, that focuses solely on melody. There is also the element of of prog-rock thrown in there, just to mix things up even more. The proggier moments are really where this group shines. Every now and then they break into some really great off-time riffage that still retains a groove. And thank Odin, it never becomes anything like the trendy Djent bands that are a dime a dozen in recent years. Their version of prog never achieves that polished, played-out, fake sound that seems to permeate the metal world these days (Emmure, anyone?). “Singularity” stays gritty and real. I have to add: to be such a brutal metal act, they aren’t afraid to write great melodic guitar parts that sound very emotional. At least once in every song, I say to myself: ” Huh…thats a really pretty riff. What a change up”. Solomon’s Ghost will keep you on your toes.
Hearing Chike’s growling over beautiful melodic chording is very refreshing to hear (The song “The Life Directive” is a great example of this).
I can hear a lot of influence from modern metal, like Born of Osiris, Tesseract…etc. But luckily, they manage to break the modern metal mold with a few secret weapons they have on their front-line.
One of those secret weapons is Chike Onyiliogw’s abilities as a death metal vocalist. He mixes it up between screeches and low growls and never wavers. His brutal vocal skills sit very well in the mix of down-tuned guitars. While he has his own style, the closest person I would use to compare him to would be Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation. *Editors note: I consider this a huge compliment, as Travis is one of my favorite metal vocalists of all time. For this being an early effort, I can see Chike’s style progressing, and getting even more diverse in the future. He is a natural, and already has great technique.
So what is the second secret weapon? They have a second vocalist in guitarist Josh Cook. Josh’s voice is literally the opposite of Chike’s. He does clean, spacey, reverb-laden melodic singing. These parts sometimes start off a song, and then turns into something brutal when Chike kicks in. If you check out one of my favorite tracks on the album, “What Lies”, you’ll find that the song starts with a pretty, clean guitar part, and Josh singing. But it soon turns into utter brutality, with some of the heaviest riffs you hear on the whole album. Josh’s style reminds me very much of Opeth, when it comes to his clean passages and vocal style. He has a great range, and his style fits the songs well.
Now with a genre-bending style like this, you probably think that it can easily get out of hand… and sound forced. Or maybe sound like two bands? But it seems that Solomon’s Ghost has managed to almost merge the sounds into one cohesive sound. I’m not here to kiss anyone’s ass…so I don’t feel bad in saying that they haven’t quite perfected the combo of the two sounds. But in the places they nail it, it sounds flawless. I think it best fits, when the two vocalists work in tandem. This of course, is just my opinion.
The production through the album is top-notch. I listened to it through my studio monitors, and they don’t lie. The bass and drums are held down solidly by James Stallings and Drew Purvis. The rhythm section can make or break a metal band, but these guys are spot on. The double bass kicks are used tastefully, and you can tell that Drew has studied some Chris Adler-style chops in his drumming.
The twin guitar assault of Josh Cook and Stephen Mosely never lets up, and you can tell who is playing each part since their styles are dramatically different, in my opinion as a guitarist.
There are some standout tracks for me. “One Million Faces” is a real journey. It covers a lot of style and ground, and listening to all of the changes keeps you excited: “Whats coming next?”. It also ends with one ridiculously heavy riff!
The title track, “Singularity” is probably the biggest departure from the rest of the album, in terms of style and sound. It is just absolutely massive, and has several “sections”. One of them, towards the end of this ten minute epic is actually reminiscent of Pink Floyd. I shit you not. That is, right before it goes back into a heavy as hell single note grind.
So check the album out. You can get it on itunes, cdbaby, or check it out on soundcloud. This is a must-have for any Savannah metal fan. I am definitely going to keep my eye on these guys, as they progress, I think they are going to do some REALLY interesting stuff in the future.
*Editors Note: I want a fucking t-shirt.
But better yet, why don’t you check them out live? Here are some of their upcoming shows, and let me warn you: They are playing with some GREAT bands that you don’t want to miss!
July 18, 2015
Solomon’s Ghost, Pridemeat, Sincision, The Abominable Beard
Saturday, July 18, 2015
@ Dollhouse Productions.
980 Industry Dr. Savannah, GA. Ages 21+. $5. 7:30 PM.
July 24, 2015
“BURGER JOINT RITUAL” with:
Solomon’s Ghost, Me and The Trinity, The Apprehended, Awaken the Dawn, Midwayer
Friday, July 24, 2015
@ Bigshow’s Burgers and Bar
200 Lanier Dr. Statesboro, GA. All Ages. $4. 7:00 PM.