Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Ghoul--We Came for the Dead
So, here's the thing. My reference monitors took a crap early last week. What does this mean? It means that I can't record or mix the garbage music I personally create properly (double lame), and it means that I can't enjoy other peoples' tuneage properly, either. Computer speakers are like an aural curse cast upon us by Apple and HP. It's as if they want to taunt us, saying "Look at all the stuff you can do with our computation machines! Oh, you want to hear things the way they actually sound? Well, technology isn't THAT good." Balls.
With that said, I wanted to make it clear that Ghoul's first album, We Came for the Dead, sounds truly horrifying on my laptop's speakers, and it will probably sound similarly bad on yours. Probably not even trying is the right thing to do, since all of the heaviness of the music is so efficiently stripped away, leaving only ride cymbals and vocals to rock your stupid, ugly face.
My history with Ghoul is as such: The WZA'd, my good buddy and one of my Crusty, Cake-y homebros from Crustcake, teletexted me the other day, proclaming that "Ghoul totally slays. You need to hear it NOW." Or something. That's a paraphrase of what happened. At any rate, I proceeded to finish what I was doing at the time, do some other stuff, watch a movie, and achievement hunt on Fable III, at which time I realized I was running out of stuff to write about on my own stupid blog. Oops! Enter Ghoul, stage left.
The name Ghoul automatically sends my brain into a tizzy, transporting me back to my childhood where I would watch Tales from the Crypt with the horrified awe of a child who, for some reason, fails to realize that the retarded stories presented by the decaying corpse of the most annoying person who ever lived aren't real. The Cryptkeeper never failed to arrest my attention every time he came onscreen. He also never failed to describe everything as either "fiendish," or "ghoulish," and to create horrible puns on these two words ad nauseum until somebody in the story finally choked ironically on a sea-cucumber or something and we could all go back to our normal lives. Oh, my innocence....where have you gone?
The first time I listened to Ghoul was on my lunch break at work. I rocked it through my iPod earbuds, which was reasonably satisfying but largely unacceptable for Ghoul's sound. Ghoul falls under the categorization of "ye olde-schoole Deathe Metale." What does this mean to you? It means that the production and playing are thick and dirty, with a disturbing, greasy sheen that reminds me of the pillow I sleep on every night (Head and Shoulders sucks, son). The closest comparison I could make to Ghoul's sound is probably Morbid Angel teaming up with Wormed to make an album that sounded as old as possible while retaining the most ridiculous and guttural vocal stylings that have been concocted through the end of the year 2010. The resulting sound is simultaneously brutal, crusty, dirty, and slick, like the inside of a toilet bowl after a Thai food bender.
Ghoul jumps on the bandwagon of so many modern death metal bands by taking great pains to be "olde schoole" while implementing the most extreme new vocal and instrumental techniques. They have the production down, and if their songwriting were a little more solid and memorable, I'd probably have found a way to compare them to a penis. However, (and admittedly without the proper listening paraphenalia) Ghoul doesn't live up to the hype that one dude gave me probably while high. Are they any good? Yes. Do they rule? Not really. Hopefully they won't let my crappy, inane writing discourage them from growing as a band, because they certainly have potential. As such, I don't think I'm fully sold.
If you're interested in hearing the deathy grossness, just make sure you follow your nose and check it out. I have high hopes for what is to come from this band, and I hope that when that day comes, I can enjoy it properly with non-shitty speakers that don't shut down completely for no reason.
P.S. Do yourself a favor and don't buy any M-Audio equipment. They will literally stop working for no reason about 8 months after you purchase them, and you will have to choose between spending hundreds of dollars to get them fixed or hundreds of dollars to replace them. Fuck off, M-Audio.