Review: Ghostblood – Honey, I Raised the Dead

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Label: Self-released

Now on to their second album, Ghostblood show no signs of slowing down. There’s a real hunger to this young band that comes through clearly on Honey, I Raised The Dead, an album that’s every bit as fun as you’d hope for from a record named thus. Their brand of thrash draws liberally from metalpunk, with the result being metal that is hugely energetic, racing by at a million miles an hour, packed full of power-chord riffs, blistering leads, and relentless drums. It’s hardly big or clever, but is sure is a hell of a lot of fun.

Honey, I Raised The Dead is a gloriously unsubtle album. There is nothing restrained about the record, just a ceaseless ride of heavy metal, high-tempo energy; once the minute-long introduction track is done with, it’s riff after riff after riff. They are, without exception, played at blistering pace, interlaced with skin-shredding solos and vocals that veer between a punk-infused sneering growl and falsetto shrieks that Rob Halford would be proud of. If you imagine a record that’s equal parts Venom, early (and I do mean early) Metallica, and Judas Priest – combined with a nice, modern production that doesn’t take away all the rough edges but lets the riffs and leads come through clearly – then you’re not far off what Honey, I Raised The Dead.

As is often the case with records like this, the greatest strength of Honey, I Raised The Dead is also its weakness. The fact that every song is fast and loud does make the album a real rush to listen to; but it can also feel slightly exhausting, as you try to keep up with the frantic tempo it sets and maintains. At a touch over a half hour, Honey, I Raised The Dead is pretty much the right length for such an album; but it’s not especially well suited to repeat listens. Well, not if you don’t want to run yourself down, that is.

But, compared with how impressive and enjoyable it is, such a complaint is relatively minor. Honey, I Raised The Dead is full of enthusiasm, and is the kind of album that helps remind you of why you fell in love with heavy metal in the first place. Though no song really veers from the fast ‘n’ loud template set down early on, there’s enough variety here to keep the album interesting – a bit more Motorhead here, a bit more punk there – and it’s obviously that the band are having an absolute blast throughout. It’s all a bit silly, but never in bad taste, and ensures that Honey, I Raised The Dead is a solid half hour of high-energy entertainment that is easy to recommend, and sure to keep listeners coming back for more.

Honey, I Raised The Dead is available on CD and digital via Bandcamp.

 

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