Unholy Ghost - Torrential Reign (Century Media Records)
By: Justin Donnelly
The latest death metal group to emerge from the Florida (Where else but Tampa?) scene is four piece act Unholy Ghost with their debut effort Torrential Reign.
Forming in early 2003, the four-piece act consists of former Diabolic members Paul Ouellette (Vocals and bass), Jerry Mortellaro (Guitar) and Aantar Lee Coates (Drums); along with original Diabolic guitarist and Pessimist founder Kelly McLauchlin.
From the moment ‘The Calling Of Sin’ opens with its blazing mix of relentless riffs and double kick drums, you know exactly what the band are going to deliver with the albums remaining ten tracks that follow. As an opener, ‘The Calling Of Sin’ is simple and straight down the line brutality with little in the way of any added extras, until the guitar solos towards the end make themselves heard amongst the fast paced riffing.
‘Soul Disment’ is no less punishing in it’s delivery with speed and intensity (With only the short solo again making it stand out from the opener), while ‘Eyes Of Lost’ is the first to break the mould with something far slower, groovier and more dynamic in atmospherics with the overtly black metal inspired vocal delivery.
‘Decimated’ mixes some obvious Morbid Angel styled riff structures and incredibly fast paced drum work, while ‘Cross Contamination’ again slows the tempo down a touch, but not nearly enough to really make it stand out from the previous tracks.
From here on, ‘Denunciation “The Cursed”’, ‘Entrenched In Warfare’ and ‘Torn Apart’ all continue the tried and true path of Floridian death metal territory set down by acts such as Morbid Angel and Deicide in the past.
It’s the last three numbers where Unholy Ghost actually changes the formula. ‘Under Existence’ again salutes Morbid Angel’s influence, while the title track ‘Torrential Reign’ uses a lot more dynamics in the drum sounds and guitar riffs (Courtesy of Morbid Angel producer Juan “Punchy” Gonzalez).
The final number ‘The Apparition’ is little more than a short effect laden, atmospheric closer, ending things off in an eerie and appropriately demonic way.
Unholy Ghost is not the most original of acts, and Torrential Reign isn’t about to bring a whole new sound to the death metal scene in Florida. If death metal without mercy (Or thrills) is what you’re after, then this album will do the trick.
For me, Torrential Reign is a little too generic and one dimensional for my liking. Granted, the musicianship is impeccable (As displayed throughout), but that double-edged sword also means that it’s all too predictable and boring compared to their contemporaries.