Ghost Voyage – Endless Oceans

While in some ways playing metal in Finland is undoubtedly less complicated as well as more rewarding than in other nations, there is no doubt that, depending on the chosen genre, a new band almost always ends up running into rather cumbersome terms of comparison already at home. Thus, those who decide to try their hand at melodic death doom, as is the case with Ghost Voyage, making their long-distance debut with this Endless Oceans, cannot avoid a comparison with one of the bands that has best interpreted this style of music in the last two decades, namely Swallow The Sun. A mirrored lineup, the keyboard weaving similarly dramatic atmospheres in the background, and Teppo Hyttinen’s voice that traces Kotamäki’s in the characteristic moments of transition between growl and scream, are amply sufficient clues to constitute a test. But even so, Endless Oceans is certainly not a bad copy of Raivio and co.’s latest work, and if parallels arise, one can hardly blame the guys from Tampere if someone came up with this kind of sound superbly long before them. So what is the recipe for overcoming this obstacle? First of all, the songwriting, which in the case of Ghost Voyage is absolutely brilliant and evocative as the genre requires; the exciting passages follow one another with good regularity and the feeling of deja-vu is amply compensated by objectively valuable tracks such as The Paragon, with its finale of rare emotional intensity, the more “swallow-oriented” Ghost Of Dawn and Mourning Waters and the more reflective Heart Of The Endless, not to mention the multifaceted closing track, Endless Oceans Of Sin, characterized by a constant alternation of atmospheres. Ghost Voyage try to partially break free from the aforementioned and not even too hidden influences, inserting with a certain frequency acoustic moments of undoubted taste, often enriched by the use of the violin: the operation provides good results even if, compared to the masters, the transition from the more melodic stanzas to the death-like outbursts appears less smooth and natural. Endless Oceans nevertheless remains a fine work, capable of satisfying the palate of fans, not only of Swallow The Sun, but of melodic death doom in a broader sense; the feeling is that these Finnish guys are able to give us in a short time a work of even greater thickness than the already exceedingly satisfying one exhibited in their debut full length. 

2013 – Independent