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Hailing from the small Finish town of Jyväskylä Ghost Brigade creates some of the best music around. The six piece consists of Manne Ikonen-Vocals, Veli-Matti Suihkonen-Drums, Tommi Kiviniemi, Wille Naukkarinen-Guitars, Joni Saalamo-Bass and Joni Vanhanen- Keyboards (don’t worry I can’t pronounce their names either. I have tried live on Radio much to my embarrassment), who wonderfully mix melodic elements and much heavier ones, leading to a definitive Ghost Brigade sound. This is one that crosses the boundaries of genres, which is why this group are so, so good.
The bands musical career began with the release of 2007s Guided By Fire. This debut is up there as one of the strongest openings to a bands musical collection ever. It is sublime from the opening track, Rails at the River to its closing, Deliberately. Through the course of listening to the 10 tracks there are monstrous riffs, clean picked guitar parts, chunky bass lines and spectacular tasteful drum sections. All layered with expertly executed clean and heavy vocals. It is not an album were I can pick out a few songs to recommend just put it in your CD player (yes I still own an actual cd player, call me old fashioned), or pull it up on your preferred music streaming software and hit play. The album was praised both critically and by the dedicated fan base. Guided By Fire was a great first step on a path that what would lead to more quality music.
Using the first album as a blueprint, Isolation Songs came out two years later in 2009. Again on the French label Season of Mist. Though the title of the record sounds rather dreary, it isn’t so. That is not to say that it is the happiest album. But there are moments Isolation songs that are masterful and very peaceful. The song that I am specifically referring to is 22:22-Nihil. To date it is the only instrumental track from Ghost Brigade. For me it is one off my favourite songs of all time. 22:22-Nihil is my go to for whenever I need to calm down, clear my head or just stop thinking for five minutes and forty eight seconds. It is a very special and important to me.
Onto Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (2011), the sextuplet also added something that they had never done before to the album. This time it was the acoustic number Into the Woods. A rather beautifully haunting track, because of the dark nature that Ikonen penned, to go alongside the stripped down music. With this instalment the songs got longer the majority being over five minutes. But this allows them to show just how talented they are as the songs are allowed to breath and explored by the listener.
After a very long 3 year absence Ghost Brigade released IV-One With The Storm and there is not a song that isn’t phenomenal. Yes it may be similar to their other albums but why fix it if it ain’t broken? But as per usual they add something different on this record there are more synthy sounds and atmospheric noises. Along with these elements the last song Elama On Tulta is sung in their native language. Which is what they ended their live set with when I had the honour of seeing them in support of IV-One With The Storm.
In only a nine year span Ghost Brigade has built a discography that very few bands/artists could compare with. They are the best band you have not heard of, Check ‘Em Out: Ghost Brigade.