Ghost Machinery, "Haunting Remains"
Pete Ahonen is a Finn with a difference, a guitarist who has the enviable problem of possessing an embarrassment of compositions, some of which don’t fit in with his main band Burning Point. So he’s created Ghost Machinery as a project to explore these other songs, along with drummer Jussi Ontero (who also plays keyboards) and bassist Tapsa Pelkonen.
So what can one expect from Ghost Machinery? Melodic power metal, of course, and lots of it! There’s a bit of the epic feel to these songs, due I think to the keyboards and vocal arrangements which make the most of layering different voices. Pete Ahonen is a no slouch on the guitar, he pulls off his rhythm work effortlessly and he’s got a couple of different voices for the solos. The other two guys hold their own; there’s nothing to complain about. For the most part, the songs are up tempo, almost speed metal gallops, but there are few ballads (“Down in Flames” and “Dreamworld”) and a couple of mid-paced songs that owe a debt to Euro power rock. There’s not much of a cheese factor, in fact, this is somewhat bland… sometimes the right amount of cheese serves a good purpose.
At thirteen songs, this can get a bit tedious and starts to blend together from song to song… considering some of them aren’t exactly standout tracks, I think this could have been a bit more focused. Some of the songs near the end of the album are quite good (“Out in the Fields”; guitar solo at 2:30 is fun) but by the time you get there, you’re nearly spent. There were a few bright spots, though. “Temples of Gold” is a cool song, speedy and fun. “Evil Within Us” has a nice keyboard part on the intro and a sweet melody line for the verse, not forgetting to mention an almost soulful solo. The aforementioned “Out in the Fields” is one of the better songs on the album.
A good, solid slice of melodic metal, nothing special, but not bad either. Ahonen’s guitar work stands out, even though you get the feeling you’ve heard it all before. Everything is very competently professional; a little too slick for it’s own good, even. Still, nothing to complain about, but not one I’m going to shout out from the mountain top.
Temples of Gold