Rating:
7.0
Anup Sastry - Ghost
21 March 2013


01. Legend
02. Limitless
03. The Boss Level
04. Wastelands
05. Discovery
06. Skywalk
07. Ghost
08. Reflex
09. Crystal


Djent. Yeah, I said it. I usually call it Groovy Rhythmo Chuggingham, but you could also understand it simply as Instrumental Progressive Metal. Currently a member of Intervals, Skyharbor and acting as the touring drummer for Jeff Loomis, Anup Sastry has somehow found time to put together a solo album.

That being said, I cannot emphasize the "put together" part enough. With him being a drummer, Ghost is understandably percussion and groove focused. The guitar and bass work are noticeably programmed and arranged, but everything fits together nicely for an adequate headbanging session.

The intensity of the music is high throughout, with plenty of delicious grooves to enjoy. The drumming is phenomenal, with some very subtle and interesting tom work. Also noticeable is the occasional blast beat throw in for good measure. What really sets this one apart is the nice touches of atmosphere that add a great deal to making the songs stand out on their own. These keyboard/pad parts and samples create some lovely dynamics, especially evident in the title track.

The most glaring flaw is the general over-produced sound. On his bandcamp, Anup admits, "All of the guitars and bass are "programmed." I am a drummer, and that is the only instrument I know how to fluently play." The intentionally synthetic sounds do have a strange appeal in contrast to some of his peers in the genre. With this in mind, it is still quite a feat listening to these complex compositions knowing that this album has been produced, written, recorded, mixed and mastered alone.

Another issue is that some tracks seem more like chunks of ideas rather than cohesive songs with a distinct vision. For me, this adds to the chaotic feel. Unfortunately, it may also challenge some of the more structurally-minded listeners.

Where do we draw the line? Is music simply an act of composition? Our ancestors certainly thought so. But in the age of technology, what do we gain from purely synthetic musical output? Where does the heart lie? Technology enables the incapable to express themselves, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk. In terms of musical standards, I have no talent. I am critiquing an album that I could only dream of creating. But as a critic, I can only throw stones against a foundation of my previous listening.

Highly recommended for fans of Periphery, Chimp Spanner, Cloudkicker, Meshuggah, and Animals As Leaders.

Performance: 6
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Anup Sastry
Album: Ghost


 


written by Introspekrieg | 31.03.2013



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BoxCar Willy - 31.03.2013 at 20:27  
Really did not like this. Generic, boring, and waaaay over polished.

Also, there's no soul. It's just a monotonous wall of wankery.
MechanisT - 01.04.2013 at 19:56  
Decent. I really like Djent and most of the time very indifferent to its drawbacks. This is no different. Wasn't wooed or anything but it was a nice listen.
.starrk - 01.04.2013 at 20:41  
Despite going into this without putting too much focus on the guitar and bass, I couldn't help but finish with the impression that this guy simply wanted to release an album for the sake of releasing an album. Given the unorthodox method of composition, I was at least looking forward to great drum work and decent production, but I found neither. The drums are as overproduced as any other track, and the production as a whole is lackluster and very generic. As a fan of all the bands mentioned in the original review I went into this with a bit of curiosity and high hopes, but it disappointed greatly.
BoxCar Willy - 02.04.2013 at 01:53  
Yeah, the more I listen to this, the worse it gets.
Valaskjalf - 02.04.2013 at 19:26  
I seem to be the only one who likes it...understand the complaints with the production and KNOWING that so much of it is programmed - still find it to be a good album, if it could be released with actual instrumentation even better. Some say it is generic, it sure as hell is a lot less generic than the newest Hypocrisy album (for example) and this is from someone who actually likes Hypocrisy very much. There is obviously no comparison between the two bands, but people seem to throw the word "generic" around quite alot, while other bands thrive on being just that.
spirit_inblack - 03.04.2013 at 00:56  
I misread the band name as "Anus Pastry" the first time I saw the link to the review. O_o

Djent is not really my thing and this album is probably not going to change my mind.
!J.O.O.E.! - 03.04.2013 at 00:58  
Written by spirit_inblack on 03.04.2013 at 00:56

I misread the band name as "Anus Pastry" the first time I saw the link to the review. O_o


Give it a couple of days and there'll be a goregrind band with that name on MA.
R'Vannith - 03.04.2013 at 14:41  
"Groovy Rhythmo Chuggingham"

Written by BoxCar Willy on 31.03.2013 at 20:27

Really did not like this. Generic, boring, and waaaay over polished.

Also, there's no soul. It's just a monotonous wall of wankery.


This sums up my opinion on the whole djent thing in general really, especially the monotonous wall part. This doesn't sound like an album that's going to change my mind.
Mr. Doctor - 03.04.2013 at 16:23  
Written by R'Vannith on 03.04.2013 at 14:41
This sums up my opinion on the whole djent thing in general really, especially the monotonous wall part.


Don't know if you care for recommendations but this is from someone who usually doesn't dig the genre too much:
Bend The Sky
Vildhjarta
Uneven Structures

Specially the last one which is probably my favorite. I think they give djent a more than decent face.
R'Vannith - 04.04.2013 at 16:49  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 03.04.2013 at 16:23

Don't know if you care for recommendations but this is from someone who usually doesn't dig the genre too much:
Bend The Sky
Vildhjarta
Uneven Structures

Specially the last one which is probably my favorite. I think they give djent a more than decent face.


If there's anything that might change my opinion then I'd be happy to hear it. I mean I can't say I've gone out of my way to search the subgenre for something I can actually enjoy so I'll give those ones a go at some point. The Vildhjarta bunch have the nifty album artwork if I remember rightly.
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.04.2013 at 16:55  
Written by R'Vannith on 04.04.2013 at 16:49


If there's anything that might change my opinion then I'd be happy to hear it. I mean I can't say I've gone out of my way to search the subgenre for something I can actually enjoy so I'll give those ones a go at some point. The Vildhjarta bunch have the nifty album artwork if I remember rightly.

And Chimp Spanner
Mr. Doctor - 04.04.2013 at 16:55  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.04.2013 at 16:55
And Chimp Spanner

Fuck, no idea how I missed that one... But oh well, figured you'd come by sooner or later.
Written by R'Vannith on 04.04.2013 at 16:49
If there's anything that might change my opinion then I'd be happy to hear it. I mean I can't say I've gone out of my way to search the subgenre for something I can actually enjoy so I'll give those ones a go at some point. The Vildhjarta bunch have the nifty album artwork if I remember rightly.

Yeah they have that nice artwork indeed. Also worth mentioning... This are one of the few djent bands that don't annoy me with their vocals (well, Bend The Sky doesn't count since they are instrumental). Both Vildhjarta and Uneven Structures have good vocals (bonus points for the later since it also has good non-whiny clean vocals, specially in the song "Frost").
R'Vannith - 04.04.2013 at 17:32  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.04.2013 at 16:55

Written by R'Vannith on 04.04.2013 at 16:49


If there's anything that might change my opinion then I'd be happy to hear it. I mean I can't say I've gone out of my way to search the subgenre for something I can actually enjoy so I'll give those ones a go at some point. The Vildhjarta bunch have the nifty album artwork if I remember rightly.

And Chimp Spanner


That name seems familiar to me for some reason, I think I have heard something from them before but I'll have to revisit. And you reviewed their latest one, which was in the awards, maybe that's why it's familiar. Thanks, I'll check it out too.
.starrk - 04.04.2013 at 21:42  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 04.04.2013 at 16:55

Written by R'Vannith on 04.04.2013 at 16:49


If there's anything that might change my opinion then I'd be happy to hear it. I mean I can't say I've gone out of my way to search the subgenre for something I can actually enjoy so I'll give those ones a go at some point. The Vildhjarta bunch have the nifty album artwork if I remember rightly.

And Chimp Spanner

I have a hard time putting Chimp Spanner in the djent group, but that guy is definitely talented.

Also, Uneven Structure is an amazing band, and I highly recommend them. The song "Buds" is one of my favorite songs in the genre.
!J.O.O.E.! - 04.04.2013 at 21:45  
Written by .starrk on 04.04.2013 at 21:42

I have a hard time putting Chimp Spanner in the djent group, but that guy is definitely talented.

Also, Uneven Structure is an amazing band, and I highly recommend them. The song "Buds" is one of my favorite songs in the genre.

To be more accurate Chimp Spanner is more prog metal with djent overtones, and occasional straight up djent approach (Harvey Wallbanger etc.).
Gelati - 21.02.2014 at 16:24  
Much like meshuggah is to most people this is a very difficult listen if its "not your thing." That being said, there alot of really subtle rhythmic composition elements that, to me at least, makes this album pretty interesting. I understand the knocks though.

For those that need to get into the genre I'd recommend "Altered State" by tesseract, "masstaden" by vildhjarta, "februus" by uneven structure, and if you'd like more to get you into
It feel free to pm me its sort of a specialty for
Me these days.

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