1. O Akhea Rheon
2. Terrible Cemetery
Title: Terrible Cemetery
Country: United Kingdom
CAT#: TTR 029
Released: 15 September 2010
Running time: 28:27
Terrible Cemetery! The highly anticipated follow-up to Ghast’s 2008 debut LP – May the Curse Bind. Recorded in one day, August 15th 2009, at The Compound (Salute, Hateful Abandon), Ghast deliver another punishing fusion of old school Black Metal and colossal Doom!
Terrible Cemetery features two tracks, O Akhea Rheon – a song originally recorded as Souldust in 2006, and the twenty-minute title-track opus.
The wonderful Welsh blackened doom- or is it doomy black?- band Ghast return with Terrible Cemetery, a mini follow-up to 2008’s marvellous handful of maggoty soil, May the Curse Bind. For those that were paying attention then- or for those that read my review of that album a few weeks ago- the band present us with a distinctive and actually rather appealing brownish slime, produced by the mixing together of dreary black metal rainwater and doomy clumps of wormy earth.
Terrible Cemetery presents two tracks, one eight and one twenty minutes. What makes this a worthwhile is the fact that these are two distinct and cogent statements, both adding something slightly different to what we learned on May the Curse Bind. Shorter opener O Akhea Rheōn is a re-recorded relic from the band’s early days as Souldust. And what it seems to do is dig right down to the band’s doomiest roots. It is built around a hypnotic, addictive and crawling doom metal riff, and this forms a miserable rain-sodden parade above which black metal vultures circle in the form of Arrrrrrrach and Myrggh’s (yes, these are authentic Welsh Christian names) disturbing shrieking. It does accelerate into a typically Ghast-ly black metal attack, with blastbeats weighed heavily down by their dour sound, though I think the real character of the song lies in that opening riff.
More ambitious and more harrowing is the epic title song. This seems to build on the work of the standout Pale Robe from the full-length, embracing the dolorous tempos and bleakly colourful tonality of the depressive end of black metal, losing any touch of doom at all, though retaining that signature gloomy sound. Eight and a half minutes in, we slide precipitously into an almost tearful depression, heavy, ugly guitars assuming an unexpectedly emotional melodic shape. It reminds me of Nargaroth’s Seven Tears are Flowing to the River. Perhaps at twenty minutes, though, it feels slightly long-winded.
More material from Ghast is extremely welcome, and let’s hope we hear still more in the not-too-distant future.
– Charles, Metal Reviews