Ghost Avenue - 'Ghost Avenue'

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Ghost Avenue - 'Ghost Avenue'

A homage to the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal classics with a slightly more modern sound.

"...Let me take you on a trip down memory lane..." states Ghost Avenue's singer Kim Sandvik in the opening track of the band's debut effort 'Ghost Avenue'. The destination of this musical journey is promised to be "a place you feel alive" and provided you are into 80s-influenced Hard Rock, (such as Queensrÿche, Pretty Maids, Quiet Riot W.A.S.P. or even 'Creatures Of The Night' era KISS), this might actually work.

Self-evident is the fact that there is nothing innovative about the band's music and this comes as no surprise considering the actual genres GA explores and proved by their own words "thirty years later, the game is still on". Thirty years after the greatest Hard Rock/Heavy Metal albums were made, GA are there to prove there is still a place and time for a solid vocal performance – in vein of the genre's classics – as well as cunning, dynamic and slightly Maidenesque guitar riffs against a powerful rhythm section. Also the lyrics are expectedly 'standardized' and somewhat cheesy, much in the vein of the old school Metal bands.

A fine example of this is 'Legacy' which is a quasi-romantic tale about the self-proclaimed "Vikings of Rock 'N' Roll" whose vocation is to "come out and play"; absolutely up to the standards of all these epic tales of Rock 'n' Roll warriors, (which remain guilty pleasures for all of us). There are enough catchy hooks on the album, ('Ghost Avenue', 'Rock 'n' Roll Tree', 'Legacy'), to meet the expectations of Melodic Hard Rock listeners yet this album should also satisfy the demands of those orientated towards heavier stuff (as in 'When The Going Gets Tough' or 'Right Direction'). There is also the ridiculously catchy 'Two Drinks' with its ambivalent lyrics and perfect to end the album with – on a high note!

Ghost Avenue's eponymous record is, again, nothing new; a homage to the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal classics with a slightly more modern sound and maybe some light traces of contemporary Power Metal here and there. But what the Scandinavian Hard Rockers have achieved with this album is a perfect balance between heaviness and catchiness, a standard certainly not so easy to reach. And although they do is to recreate the 1980s – they do it with style. This comes highly recommended.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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