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Ghost Avenue - "The Engraving" (CD)

Ghost Avenue - "The Engraving" CD cover image

"The Engraving" track listing:

1. The Engraving
2. AWAT
3. Surgery
4. Agent Down
5. Craving
6. Alive
7. Taking Lives
8. One Last Favor
9. Independence Day
10. Here I Am

Reviewed by on June 30, 2011

"Is Ghost's 'The Engraving' a particularly riveting or original record? Hardly. That said, if you're looking for '80s-style rock bombast, it might be good for a few spins."

On one hand, Ghost's "The Engraving" is well-played and guaranteed to appeal to those looking to crank up some '80s-style classic metal. On the other, the songwriting heads into by-the-numbers territory a bit too frequently, resulting in a disc that's not likely to haunt your stereo for too long.

The brightest spot on the album is the dual-ax attack of guitarists Oystein Wiik and Andre Berger. The two definitely have a solid rapport, and the way they play off each other on tracks like "Agent Down," "The Engraving" and "Craving" is reminiscent of Tipton-Downing. The solos are excellent, even if the riffs feel a bit generic.

Singer Kim Sandvik delivers a solid performance for the most part. He is particularly good on the slow "Independence Day," though his forceful delivery of "The Engraving" is also quite interesting. He doesn't have a ton of range, but he uses what he's got well.

Lyrically, the album's a bit hit-or-miss, with the clever "Surgery," which decries the transformation of the girl next door into "the chick in the brochure," alongside stuff like "Taking Lives" and "Agent Down" that recycle some tired hitman tropes.

The production is pretty decent, although a little bit more of Petter Christopher Lein's drums in the mix probably wouldn't have hurt.

Is Ghost's "The Engraving" a particularly riveting or original record? Hardly. That said, if you're looking for '80s-style rock bombast, it might be good for a few spins.

Highs: "Surgery" and "The Engraving"

Lows: Most of the songs fall on the generic side.

Bottom line: A decent, if pretty generic, '80s-style classic metal disc.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 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)