Thinking Man's Thursday: GHOST TOAST Are Out Of This World
This band is called Ghost Toast. You’re already at least curious…
I respect the ability of the solo (or essentially solo) guitar wankery acts out there. On paper they should be everything I love. Instrumental music is all I’ve been doing since I picked up a guitar. It’s a part of me. I'd assume I’d love it more when it’s melodic, diverse, technical, and dense in one way or another. Sadly, I usually just get bored. I have hard time caring about the (usually) uninteresting music bed behind the one guy in the band that can sweep pick. Without naming names, you could probably at least get the ballpark of who I’m talking about. Throw a rock into Bandcamp and you’ll probably distract some highly respectable virtuoso at least for a moment.
So when I get a heads up about a band playing instrumental prog, I’m a little hesitant. However, this band’s name is Ghost Toast.
That was enough to fully get my attention. When the band’s name is Ghost Toast, you have at least give them a chance, right? What the hell would make a band call themselves Ghost Toast? Turns out, Ghost Toast are amazing! They’re a Hungarian band that do indeed perform instrumental prog. However, musically they meld as a complete band. The musicianship is stellar, but they’re not just taking turns to flail. They’re sound is somewhere between Russian Circles, Scale The Summit, and Tool with touches of world music. The band consists of a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and cellist. On their album Out of This World they quartet take breaks from this lineup to include synths, electronic beats, and lush atmospheres.
While I applauded their tendency to veer from wankery, I can still contend that these guys are incredibly skilled. Interesting rhythms are at the forefront of tracks like “Gordius.” I could totally imagine Maynard James Keenan’s voice over this song, and it would be the best (though only) Tool song in a decade. Get it? Because there hasn’t been a Tool song in a decade? Anyway, Out of This World is pretty regularly taking us on this rhythmic journeys, and each one is enjoyable.
When guitarist Bence Rozsavolgyi takes steps into the spotlight he does so in a manner that reminds me of Traced In Air-era Cynic (See: “Last Man”). The highlight of the band has to be the inclusion of the work of cellist/keyboardist Janos Pusker. There aren’t really cello solos on the record, nor too many moments when the instrument is pushed to the forefront. However, the juxtaposition of the heavy, or at least rock instrumentation with the cello is one that I’m an absolute sucker for.
They’re a band that would appeal to all sorts of prog dogs (no one calls you that). Fans of Porcupine Tree, Tool, Ulver, Oceansize, and the spacey side of progressive rock/metal should get on this band.
Out of This World is quite good. In fact, one could say that it’s… very good.
This is the band’s third album and it drops on June 7th via Inverse Records. Follow the band here.