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Ghostreaper: Straight Out Of Hell
Ghostreaper - Straight Out Of Hell World Album Art Work

Ghostreaper: Straight Out Of Hell

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
3.5/5.0

The American Wild West of the latter 19th century has been an ongoing fascination for many people for decades. We Americans continue to romanticize it in the same way we continue to romanticize Mafia gangster tales. But it's also an international phenomena as well, especially in the larger European theater. Who can forget the "Spaghetti Westerns" of Italian director Sergio Leone, and featuring Clint Eastwood, such as For A Few Dollars More.

Mikk Hollenberg - Click For Larger Image

Mikk Hollenberg

Apparently, Voodoma guitarist Mikk Hollenberg has the same interest in the American Wild West. Hollenberg has created Ghostreaper to combine a Western musical motif with heavy metal. Think Ennio Morricone meets European melodic power metal. Straight Out Of Hell offers a Western tale of a band of outlaws told through guitar driven melodic metal composed and produced by Hollenberg. The music is brought to life by a large ensemble cast of international musicians, including ten different vocalists. You can view the complete cast of players in the label's one sheet.

As for the songs, most offer a mixture of heavy and power metal with bracing riffs, galloping rhythm and groove, and then eventually racing to a fiery Hollenberg guitar solo. The Western musical motif is most prominent in Sons Of The Gun, Desperados, and Black Widow. Actually, after that last song, I thought the whole Western motif was almost completely lost. It's like Hollenberg had a good idea for a larger musical canvas, but then found himself diminished after a few songs. As for the numerous vocalists, this feature became something of a distraction for me. One song would have clean and melodic female and/or male vocals, then another some raw or gruff male vocals. The operatic vocals of Diane Lee (Lost Journey) seemed out of place in the otherwise roaring power metal rocker Darkness Of Sin. Rather than adding the flavor of variety, the multiple vocalists simply made the album sound uneven and inconsistent. Nevertheless, considering the scope of the Western heavy metal concept and the abundance of musical talent, Mikk Hollenberg and Ghostreaper's Straight Out Of Hell is an interesting music adventure that may appeal to many.


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The Bottom Line

Considering the scope of the Western heavy metal concept and the abundance of musical talent, Mikk Hollenberg and Ghostreaper's Straight Out Of Hell is an interesting music adventure that may appeal to many.

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