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A haunting guitar only intro opens up Ghoul's 2006 album Splatter Thrash's first song, Into The Catacombs, creating an atmosphere that leaves the listener completely unprepared for what comes next. A crushing rhythm riff and a bezerk lead solo, before it slows down once again. Yes, sir, this album is one hell of a twisted roller coaster ride through the mind of the insane, in one of the finest 42 minutes you will find anywhere in metal.
The first evaluation to make of this album is that it is not one for the faint hearted, and not only because of the utterly over the top lyrical themes. The speed changes frequently in a style more known in the progressive genre, but it remains consistently atmospheric and bone breakingly heavy. This is an album that blends thrash music with elements of grindcore and death metal, and a death metal vocal style delivered by all four members of the band. These influences are not much surprising given that two of the members of the band were also part of Death/Grind titans Impaled, but it makes for an extremely interesting combination. The musicianship on display throughout Splatter Thrash is utterly top notch. From the instrumental opener, it leads directly into an incredible tremolo picked intro to track 2, As Your Casket Closes. The guitar works is some of the best i have heard from any band ever, and the drumming matches it, keeping a solid beat throughout. The drums is the one thing in which there are not as many tempo changes. The guitars shift up from mid paced riffs to fast ones and slower ones, but the drums are a constant beat, with some interesting fills found throughout the album, particularly around 1.30 into the second song.
The riffs are surprisingly tight, being consistently heavy and creating a morbid atmosphere for the rest of the band to build off. Each different speed the riffs are played at is still fully realized, and there are no weaker riffs to be found on this album. Every song sounds completely independent of the others, but without breaking up the flow of the album, which is always nice to hear. The lead work is equally amazing, with the soloing throughout the album being utterly top notch. The band members are full of energy vocally, with Digestor being the most often heard, but Dissector, Cremator and Fermentor all being present and correct throughout, creating some interesting tones to hear. The vocals are well paced and perfectly done, occasionally even sounding like a titular Ghoul. The vocal work sounds like a demon from a horror film on a diet of razor blades, and creates an incredibly intense feeling.
The bass work is the one down side of this album. It is audible throughout, but does very little to deviate away from what the rest of the band is doing, which really did come off as sounding lazy, since the band are clearly so talented. Bury The Hatchet and the title track are extremely weak in terms of the bass work, and this really does take a lot away from the overall experience of the album. The songs throughout this album really do feel like the perfect soundtrack to a horror movie, as is obviously the intention. The over the top styling to songs such as Baron Samedi, Rise, Killbot, Rise and Psychoplasm does much for this band, with everything feeling deliberately exaggerated to a nearly insane level. The lyrics are disgusting, the drumming frantic, the guitar work varied and well written, everything merges together perfectly. Overall, this is a good listen, and definitely worth a listeners money.