ALBUM REVIEW: Skillet – Dominion

Eleven albums deep and showing no signs of slowing down, alternative metal tour de force Skillet enter their twenty-sixth year of existence with Dominion (WMG / Atlantic), a collection of big rocking tunes, expertly polished and produced, which continues in their now trademark vein. We get the arena stompers, the WWE PPV-ready (or premium live event as they seem to now be known as) montage accompaniers, the saccharine reflective synth and strings ballad, and the chirpy up-tempo deeper cuts.

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Bullet For My Valentine – Gravity

What a ride Bullet For My Valentine (BFMV) have been on thus far, having gone from being part of a newly anointed ‘New Big 4 of Thrash’, and heralded in the same breaths of Metal’s greatest bands upon the release of their debut album The Poison (Visible Noise) to the flip side of the real lows felt after the release of their fourth record Temper, Temper (RCA) which saw creative levels dip to point where many wrote the band off completely. They attempted a return with 2015’s Venom (RCA) and seemed to be slowly kicking in the Metal cogs into motion again and saw a kind of spluttering rebirth. Continue reading

30 Seconds To Mars – America

There has been a certain inevitability about the de-Rocking of 30 Seconds To Mars’ sound. They have always embraced electronica as being as integral to what they are as the guitars, bass, and drums, with Jared Leto’s distinctive tones up-front and centre. If 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams (Virgin) advanced matters, progressing things from flirting with pop and electronics to full on stepping out, to (painfully) extend that metaphor, America (Interscope) is the lavish engagement party, as the band walk confidently off into the sunset hand-in-hand with modern, mainstream and minimalist pop-sensibilities. Continue reading

30 Seconds To Mars At Jones Beach Theater


30 Seconds To Mars


At Jones Beach Theater, Port Jefferson, NY

All Photos By Julia Sariy PhotographyContinue reading

EXCLUSIVE: Imminence Discuss Their Musical Backgrounds

Upstart metalcore band Imminence have a style and a sound that could someday place them amongst the greats of the scene such as Bring Me The Horizon and 30 Seconds To Mars, and you can hear that in their current album, This Is Goodbye, which is out now via Sharptone Records. In this EXCLUSIVE clip for Ghost Cult, watch the band discuss their diverse musical backgrounds in this continuing series from the road. Continue reading

Falling In Reverse – Coming Home

Infamous vocalist Ronnie Radke is renowned for over-introspection when it comes to his music. His band’s direction on previous album Just Like You, was a throwback to his Escape The Fate days as he felt people were yearning for that nostalgia trip. Having gotten that out of the system, fourth album Coming Home (Epitaph) was about finding and defining a style, and staying focused to a conceptual thread throughout the music. And there’s something very interesting going on in the Falling In Reverse camp this time around.Continue reading

Ghost Cult’s Most Anticipated Albums Of 2017

This past year was a huge one for music with so many bands releasing new material it was hard to keep up, even for us here at Ghost Cult. So many legacy bands, modern classic acts, and up and comers dropped new music this year, some may wish they had waited until 2017 to drop it like it’s hot. Without further ado, here are our picks for the new tunes you need in your life in 2017. Continue reading

Introducing – Deadaudiosaints

deadaudiosaints band 016 from Facebook ghostcultmag

Only a few ears since forming near Leeds UK, electro-rockers Deadaudiosaints have been turning on ears with their eclectic mix of catchy rock anthems, hummable chorus and riffs. Vincent Renn of Ghost Cult caught up with Danny Jones to learn more about this up and coming band.


You guys formed in 2013, and seem to be touring non-stop. What’s that like?

We love playing live, it’s what it’s all about. You can’t replicate a crowd connection anywhere but in that environment. Plus it’s always good fun travelling in a van then arguing on who is sleeping where.


What bands inspired your sound and inspired you to be musicians?

We all have a few different influences but share common ground with bands such as Marilyn Manson, Placebo, Papa Roach, Deftones, Rob Zombie. The musicianship and stage shows from these in particular are big influences.

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Would you say that it’s all the different influences that give you guys the sound which is clearly your own?

For sure. Because we all have our own spin on each others ideas it gives us a very diverse catalogue to bring things from. Which is where our sound comes from.


‘Forever’ is one of those songs that sounds familiar, yet fresh and brand new. Can you tell us how the single came together?

Forever actually started off as a synth line idea then musically things developed over that pretty quick. With regards to the lyrics and stuff. I riffed around with the melody then began playing around with the lyrics. It’s kind of my twist on the ‘He fucked me over in Love’ scenario. I flipped it round to ‘She fucked me over in Love’. The track means a lot to me so it was cool that the end product turned out pretty sweet. Plus we had Tyler ‘Scout’ Acord (formerly of Issues) mix and master the track to get that big sound which was really cool.


How does the writing process work for you guys? Is it a studio process or are you always writing?

It just depends on the mood to be honest. A lot of ideas are thrown around outside the studio then we all get together to put it all together and iron out the creases to put the Deadaudiosaints sound to it.


What else do you guys have planned as far as releasing new music?

We are busy writing and filtering through stuff and we are hoping to get our debut album out this year. There will no doubt be a new video soon too.


Who’s on your bucket list to tour with?

This list could be huge but definitely Marilyn Manson, Placebo, Papa Roach, Rob Zombie, Korn, 30 Seconds To Mars.

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What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone whom you inspired to become a musician?

‘Make your music for yourself, enjoy it, do your own thing’ If you believe in what you do and people can see the passion then they will connect with it.


How soon can your fans in the United States expect to see you?

We are hoping to be over in States this summer but if the opportunity arrises sooner then we will be there straight away.



Addams Family or The Munster’s and why?

Addams Family but not entirely sure why ……….. but the Munsters had The Dragula.


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Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit


If life is a journey, Bring Me The Horizon are living one helluva good one. From hated deathcore upstarts, bottled and attacked when playing support shows, to the slick, progressive metalcore of their breakthrough album Sempiternal (RCA/Epitaph), their career has been one of continuous upwards movement, both creatively but also commercially, a trend that is perpetuated by their excellent fifth album That’s The Spirit (RCA/Columbia).

While BMTH are no longer a “metal” band (while they haven’t been for a while, they’ve truly stepped outside those bounds now) their continued exploration of a poppier, slicker sound unreservedly suits them. Leaving behind the trappings of scenes metalcore and deathcore, That’s The Spirit takes the band into unchartered territories of song-writing and production to create an excellent modern rock album.

Starting the album with the subdued build of ‘Doomed’, the tone is set for something special as the reflective piece resets expectations, all subtle electronica and disseminated guitars. Partner in crime ‘Happy Song’ picks things up, utilizing a child vocal hook much like Faith No More’s ‘Be Aggressive’ before a lurching, thick riff courtesy of Lee Malia, who really shines as a diverse and clever player across the spectrum of the album, backs up the songs eponymous hook.

Smartly, …Horizon have continued their evolution, replacing the frenetic punkcore style of There Is A Hell… (Visible Noise), via Sempiternal, with a more controlled, dynamic and poppier approach; an approach that has led to a thousand-fold improvement in their song-writing. Whatever you do, don’t confuse replacing aggression with control as a sign of weakness – there is a powerful energy throughout.

They always had an x-factor, now they have refinement and intelligence and know how to channel that spark into top quality songs. Tracks like ‘Avalanche’ are enhanced by the full integration of keyboard player Jordan Fish adding strings, synth motifs and subtle electronica to back up a beast that swirls from down to upbeat, and another strong chorus, led by the excellent Oli Sykes.

BMTH_Press Hi-res.jpgOnly the sedate ‘Follow You’ shows a slight dip in quality and there are highlights throughout; no less than ‘Throne’ with its poppy synth intro and Linkin Park trappings, a truly uplifting pop metal anthem. ‘True Friends’ and ‘Blasphemy’ BMTH show they’ve lost none of their cynicism, but more than that, they demonstrate the progression of Sykes from screamer to genuine lead singer, with powerful throaty moments leading to sweeping choruses, and he combines the two on the rockier catchy ‘What You Need’, a track fuelled by a juddering stadium-filling death rock bass line. ‘Drown’, initially released a year ago to prepare the way for the new BMTH sound, is an expertly crafted modern alternative rock song. Final track ‘Oh No’ closes the circle, a reflective yet upbeat poppy piece, reminiscent of the best moments of 30 Seconds To Mars, with Woah-ohs and dance synths closing things off with a smile.

Kudos must also go to Fish and Sykes for a stunning production job, with all the touches and trappings of the best pop productions balled up into huge rock sound. Influences may have switched from Norma Jean and At The Gates, but by moving beyond their contemporaries in quality, style and songwriting, BMTH now stand in class of one; truly at the top of the mountain.


If Suicide Season (Visible Noise/Epitaph) was their rebirth, There Is A Hell… the teenage ruttings of a band truly finding themselves and Sempiternal their coming of age album, That’s The Spirit is Horizon maturing into a fine young adult, confident, strong and secure in themselves and the knowledge that they are now master craftsmen.

Successfully combining every good aspect of alternative rock and metal of the last fifteen years, That’s The Spirit is Bring Me The Horizon’s “Black Album” moment.




The Poodles – Devil In The Details


There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about The Poodles image that borders on hipster irony, and/or a touch of Steel Panther parody, though at the same time, it could just as well be a plain old “wacky” sense of humour. Either which way, the band have racked up ten Top 10 hits in their native Sweden, and swagger into album number six, Devil In The Details (Gain), on the back of a rising popularity that has continued to grow since their début Metal Will Stand Tall (Lionheart) in 2006.

While the album opens in the symphonic power rock vein of a less metal Kamelot with the dramatic ‘Before I Die’ and its bombastic chorus rising from a considered, dark verse, (‘Crack In The Wall’ has a similar feel), The Poodles true sound lies in a rockier, glammier sound, and sure enough ‘The Greatest’ is a hit single with a Bon Jovi meets 30 Seconds To Mars stamp all over it.

The Poodles are a Hard Rock band who are at home in the Power Metal market (indeed guitarist Pontus Norgren left to join Hammerfall), and, as such, aren’t afraid to incorporate a more epic bent to their music – ‘Need To Believe’ nods to Tony Martin era Black Sabbath – as well as some versatility ‘(What The Hell) Baby’ funks along (and actually has a chorus that it’s not unimaginable could have been written for Britney Spears). However, consistency is a bit of an issue, as is stamina as things dip towards the end, with final four ‘Stop’, ‘Creator and Breaker’ and ‘Borderline’ being bone fide plodders, while a ‘Life Without You’ is saved only by a great chorus that demands a fist up and a grin on the face all tacked onto a tepid toil.

While not the strongest release of the bands’ canon, there is no need to be negative, as there is plenty to appeal to their existing fans, plus those of acts like Europe and Stratovarius.



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