Review Summary: Ghost is an irresistably high-spirited album that drifts somewhere between ambience and soft rock, never letting its quality drop-and never letting the listener's interests slip from its grasp.Ghost
is an album nobody would ever have expected to come from the man behind heavy metal band Strapping Young Lad back in the ‘90’s. It’s an album nobody would have expected still when Devin Townsend moved away from the band and released the progressive metal masterpiece that was Ocean Machine: Biomech
in '97. Nor would anybody have expected Ghost
when he started experimenting wildly with multiple different projects and genres later on-crafting such versatile releases as the gentle Terria to the heavy and humorous concept album Ziltoid. In fact, Ghost
was still a surprise on the very day it was released-something that raised quite a few eyebrows. Yet this says something undeniably positive about Devin Townsend’s abilities as an artist. It shows true musicianship that Townsend is able to perform everything from death metal to ambient rock with equal courage and comfort-whether you enjoy his work or not, his talent is undeniable.
It’s evident right from the start of opening track “Fly” that Ghost
is something completely different-and something undeniably genius. Every gentle pluck of the acoustic guitar, every soothing whistle of the flute, every atmospheric backing vocal, and every softhearted line crooned by the incredibly talented vocalist drifts from one song to another, flowing together in a perfect, light-tempered atmosphere that is impossible to resist. Ghost
is an album from which it is impossible to pluck single songs that shine brighter than the rest-for this is an album that is meant to be listened to from start to finish, for the full 70-odd minutes of its duration. Every song is sewn together either via the graceful musicianship or through tasteful ambient noises such as the relaxing pitter-patter of falling rain hitting glass or the croaking of a dozen frogs gathered around a pond.
may meander between ambience and more “song-like” tracks such as “Blackberry,” but its flow is never halted or interrupted. Nor does Townsend ever feel out of place or uncomfortable in doing what he is-despite how unlike this album is to anything he has done before, it takes only a few tracks to forget this and become completely engrossed in Ghost’s
wonderfully upbeat atmosphere. Townsend’s hauntingly beautiful voice is complimented perfectly by the female vocalist who can also be heard throughout the album’s duration. We mustn’t forget the instrumentation here either. The strings are played with perfection-the strumming of the acoustic guitar and banjos back up the heavenly melodies of the woodwind instruments wonderfully. The drums tap away in the background, creating a solid rhythm that carries the album along.
All in all, Ghost
is an album not to be missed or forgotten. It is the perfect choice to listen to on a leisurely summers stroll. It is an excellent pick for the evening after a particularly stressful day at work. It is an album that will put you in the best mood imaginable as soon as the first track is well underway. Don’t hesitate to check this album out-even if you’re into heavier music and the initial prospect of a soft rock to almost ambient album puts you off a little. Devin Townsend’s Ghost
is a masterpiece in every form of the word-and quite possibly his best work to date.