The thing I like about festivals is the fact that you come across a lot of different bands. Either good or bad, it’s always interesting to see something new. One of the reasons I like being a reporter for Metalrage is kind of the same: to get in contact with different, unfamiliar bands and music I’d otherwise never could have gotten in contact with. Unfortunately, the pearls between the rocks are hard to find. So let’s check out Pete Ahonen’s new band Ghost Machinery.
The cd begins with a typically power-metal song, ‘World of unbelievers’. A fast intro on synths, followed by double bass and heavy guitar riffs. I could already feel like being inside a haunted mansion, like the bands’ name suggests. Ahonen proves that he is not just a good musician on guitar, but also a great singer. I just love the high notes and sharp-edged guitar solos, imagining a tough guy with his chest straight forward.
As the second song, ‘Blinded Eyes’, begins, I start to believe that I’ve got something really interesting here. It’s a very fast song and makes that smile coming upon your face, containing some guitar solos that sound a little strange, yet lovely to hear. It reminds me somehow of ‘Blinded’, an Evergrey song.
There are also several songs on the album that were actually mentioned for Burning Point, the latest band of Ahonen, just before Ghost Machinery was formed. And I must say that I can understand the reason why these songs are put on this cd, despite the fact that they’re played by a different band. The songs are very strong, powerful and my head immediately started to bang along with the melody.
The best part of the cd lies in the mid-session, number six (Dreamworld), seven (From the edge of the world) and eight (Darkest Hour). The first of these is a ballad. And to be honest, I haven’t heard such a nice one in a long time. All the credits for the perfect vocals, great variation, beautiful compassion and a voice… man, do you remember the times when you were a little kid and your father told you a story? In those days, there was no voice I wanted to hear more than my fathers’. I almost get the same feeling with this song. Also pay attention to the subtle use of a Spanish guitar. The other two songs are just the reason why I like power-metal. They’re strong, full of melodies and I get the feeling I’m involved in something more than just music.
So, is this my potential album of the year? I actually don’t think so. Despite the mentioned songs, the cd is a little bit too much of something I’m already familiar with. Ghost Machinery certainly did a great job but doesn’t seem to be able to come up with something new. After a few sessions of listening, I have the feeling that I already know almost the entire cd. There’s not much that I can describe as typically ‘Ghost Machinery’. And I don’t mean to say that the cd bothers me, but I’m trying to make clear that some other bands have come up with something better. And for those of you who want examples, I’ve got two for you. First of all, the double bass of the drums sound a little bit annoying, like slamming on a weak plastic bottle of coke. Secondly, the little parts that actually dó seem to be experimental just don’t fit. Imagine a lazy, clean riff on the bass when I wanted extra speed in the song.
My conclusion is that this cd isn’t a homogeneous pearl, but a glittering stone that’ll show you some aspects of a really fine genre in the metal scene, rotating in my cd-player for some time, that’s for sure. As for the score, eighty is a beautiful number.
Pete Ahonen - Vocals, Guitars
Tapsa Pelkonen - Bass Guitar
Jussi Ontero - Drums, keyboards
01 - World of Unbelievers
02 - Blinded Eyes
03 - Temples of Gold
04 - Evil Within Us
05 - Down in Flames
06 - Dreamworld
07 - From the Edge of the World
08 - Darkest Hour
09 - Fallen Angels
10 - Heaven or Hell
11 - In your (evil) Dreams
12 - Out in the Fields
13 - Shadows