Ghoul Patrol - Ghoul Patrol
Spinefarm Records
Southern-fried Death N' Roll
10 songs (44:58)
Release year: 2011
Ghoul Patrol, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Surprise of the month
In the past year, few bands have jumped out of nowhere into my face with the kind of blistering quality level that Finland's Ghoul Patrol has exhibited. Formed in 2005, all of their three demos (Death Fuckin' Roll! (2008), Hellfire Blues (2009) and The 3rd Death Manifest (2009)) have acquired high praise from the local media to trueist webzines and their self-titled debut full-length validates that praise very nicely.

At core a rough n' tumble death metal band, the first connection GP brings to mind is definitely old-to-mid school Entombed, just with a monstrously better production job. Good GAWD this soundscape pounds them ears. Brilliant! As you can also deduct from the name of their first demo, the rocking and rolling in the group's death metal is very evident and potent. It’s also worthy of note that the rocking in question has a very decidedly southern twang to it, soaked in whiskey as much as blood, I’d say. Think if Down toned down the sludge in their tunes just a little bit and upped the rapid grooving.

The team playing of this particular patrol leaves nothing to be desired, really tight stuff at all ends. Singer Pekka Okuloff mainly employs a manly guttural grunt but spices it up with some effective throaty snarls and screams while also adding some yokel-slurred spoken word-sections that really fit the bill. Some might find it too corny, I find it just the right kind of corny.

The song material is very convincing throughout, bringing the pain along with a few off-kilter touches as well. Gut Rotting Riot would be an excellent speed demon with a traditional styling but as it is, the banjo solo in the middle lifts the potential even further. Harvest’s slide guitars make for a great intro, but don’t let the oncoming sledgehammer riff flatten you. Or those blast beats. Yum yum. How about the hillbilly-thrashfest that is I Am The Wolf? Nice.

The album’s and band’s titular track brings in an appealing mix of thrash and rock riffs while also giving ample room for guitarists Albert Orma and Jani Rapo to stretch their fingers in a sizzling solo battle. Probably my favourite track thus far. Louisiana Pit lives up to its name and provides a swampy, lead-heavy drawl that eventually morphs into a fist-pleasing chug of double kick drums and grooviness. One can surely hear the Pantera/Lamb Of God-style grooves from time to time but in no way does it leave a feeling of an inferior carbon copy. These guys know how to make their own kind of boogie.

I'm really impressed that as often as originality and “a sound, that thing all their own” is sought after when reviewing demos and debut albums, one doesn’t have to look too far with this doozy. Ghoul Patrol is off to a fantastic start with their self-titled debut album and good grief if they manage to improve who knows how much from here on out. Yes, as a whole package there are a few mediocre songs here (Ignore This Message, At The Gates) so that I can’t hype the sucker up as one of the year’s best, but among my Surprises of the Year, Ghoul Patrol is guaranteed one of the top spots.

Killing Songs :
Louisiana Pit, Harvest, Gut Rotting Riot, I Am The Wolf, Ghoul Patrol & Parasite City
Aleksie quoted 85 / 100
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