Ghastly – Death Velour (Finnish Death Metal Tho)

Man that Finnish death metal sound. How I forgot! How I could go on about it forever, though this is only the second band in memory I liked from Finland. Out of any country plugging the death metal hole till bursting, Sweden is the one that consistently gets the attention. Not because it's all so good, because trust me it isn't, but because damn those Swedes just steal all the love because status quo don't you know? Out of any country, in my opinion, Finland is really the one that keeps manipulating the genre until "Finnish death metal" is soon to become a genre in itself. Thought it was Sweden? Some bands cool there, yeah, but not like this. Death Velour will show you why, and I feel bad this is the first 20 Buck Spin release I've reviewed in quite awhile. Since the guy lives near my parents, maybe when I visit home next he won't mind if I randomly knock of his door because trust me will happen. Check under your bed, bro.

  

I was pretty sure Ghastly was Finnish as soon as I passed the introductory, atmospheric track of Death Velour, and I probably didn't need to verify it, but I had to to make sure I wasn't a total idiot when I published this. They've been around for almost 10 years now, but this is their greatest work to date. Ghastly, such a great name, and it provides a good sense of the music itself. And that cover by the elusive Riikka Pesonen, do love. But let's get to it so you can close your browser already. Death Velour presents a highly nontraditional approach to death metal, but with that typical edge of the recent Finnish type where you don't feel you've strayed too far from the path but you're so cool for letting your toe enter the weeds. Ghastly are more delicate with their sound and themes, if the album title's poetic reference to a shroud didn't give it away. The drums focus less on power and more on atmosphere, like the music itself, with the bass pulsating like a stroke-affected heart, and the riffs draping over your head rather than pounding until the skull cracks. Some have called this "doom", but that's deceptive, because slow it is most certainly not, but yet it does not concern itself with speed, either. Death Velour is like sipping upon a fine, stagnant water seeping from coffins. It's eerie, but completely avoids the conundrum of "spooky" bands who are only frightening in that they are serious. Ghastly bend the typical themes into pleasing shapes that won't fail to please, and will fail to embarrass.

 

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Written by Stanley Stepanic

Ghastly – Death Velour
20 Buck Spin
4.3 / 5