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The Midnight Ghost Train - "Midnight Ghost Train" (CD)

The Midnight Ghost Train - "Midnight Ghost Train" CD cover image

"Midnight Ghost Train" track listing:

1. I Drink Your Blood
2. The Swell
3. Mustache
4. River Slit
5. They're Burying Me Alive
6. Desert Red
7. Die With Me
8. Woman of Hate

Reviewed by on April 14, 2011

"The band’s self-titled release blends gospel hymns of the sermon, down tuned rock and roll riffs of southern rock, and dark delta blues."

From the plains of the Midwest, The Midnight Ghost Train has been traveling the world spreading one-of-a-kind music. The band’s self-titled release blends gospel hymns of the sermon, down tuned rock and roll riffs of southern rock, and dark delta blues. “Midnight Ghost Train” is a Mason-Dixie psychedelic fusion of classic roots and distortions that will make you get your church on; whether it’s Baptist, Satanist, or whatever your pleasure.

“The Swell” begins with vocalist/guitarist Steve Moss preaching the end-time message before heavily fuzz distorted guitar takes over with Brandon Burghart’s clashing drums making sharp stabs through the muck. Then the music heads into a menacing minimal breakdown of mean sounding, psychedelia; a warm doom fuzz of the guitar blares into a fused blues riff while the sonic burst of drums and bass rings through. These musicians clearly have a great sense of subtlety as well as power. In essence the feel brings a mixture of raw headbanging dementia to the structure of a dischorded jazz fusion. "Die With Me" is a rollicking song with a great beat for clapping along while dancing around a bonfire, if you've got one.

“Mustache” begins quietly and soulfully, like Soilent Green’s slower moments. It’s a perfect fit considering that guitarist Brian Patton is a huge bluegrass and blues fan. The sludgy, fuzzy guitars come in to add more texture to the song. “Desert Red” is another very soulful and acoustic song, escalating into an opus of moaning and weeping about chances lost. Another interesting element to the album is Steve’s spoken word poetry of a dark nature. “They’re Burying Me Alive” includes one of the haunting diatribes.

All around, The Midnight Ghost Train has made a complex and old, yet brand-new, music that will make you a fan, then force you to kneel in repentance in front of that Devil at the crossroads. It’s one of my favorite albums and I don’t know if I’ll ever hear something like it again. Until they make another, of course.

Highs: Amazing bluesy metal that is completely unique.

Lows: Could have been longer because I wanted to hear more.

Bottom line: Very different sludge and pyschedelia infused blues metal that will not disappoint.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)