Red Fang – Only Ghosts Album Review | Gavin Brown

October 17, 2016


Red Fang

Only Ghosts

Much like their peers in Mastodon and Baroness later on in their careers, Red Fang have aimed for a bit of a more polished sound with the bands latest album Only Ghosts but do it without compromising what makes them so special in the first place. The heaviness and the riffs are still there of course but with this album there is a renewed focus on the structure of the songs and melody and Red Fang really benefit from it, in  turn Only Ghosts sees Red Fang growing as a band and reaching new musical heights without leaving their faithful and hardcore fans behind.

The album kicks off with the pounding and catchy Flies, which features a crunching guitar riff courtesy of David Sullivan and the traditional dual vocals of bassist Aaron Beam (with the cleaner vocals that really elevate during the catchy chorus ) and guitarist Brian Giles (who has a gruffer vocal approach) and the result is a barnstorming opening combo.

This high energy tempo is kept up throughout the album with the stomp of the anthemic song Cut It Short making it the perfect track to follow this explosive opening. Next track Flames marks a change of pace and this dirgey feedback filled interlude is a nod to the bands stoner rock roots and is the perfect catalyst for the next track No Air to explode into life with its bass led intro morphing into a heavy groove executed by a pounding performance (a constant through the duration of Only Ghosts) by drummer John Sherman and the commanding vocals of Giles taking centre stage.

Shadows and Not For You keep the energy levels high midway through the album while the sludgey The Smell Of The Sound is the best song on an album full of great ones. The riffs and and rhythms are mesmerising on the track and there is an epic catchiness that elevates the song, seriously, you will not be able to get this one out of your head, the hypnotic grooves will take over your head! The urgent The Deep is another undisputed highlight and is another memorable song that revels in its hypnotic state.

The album concludes with the heavy bass groove of I Am A Ghost, another catchy moment that revels in its primal nature and sounds all the better for it (something Red Fang have gotten down to a tee) as well as one of the heaviest things on the album and riffy album closer Living In Lye finishes things in style with its mammoth rhythms and conclusive style.

Only Ghosts is a triumphant album with fantastic songs played by a band at the height of their powers and one that will see Red Fang rightfully take their place in the upper echelons of heavy music.

Red Fang- Only Ghosts Out Now Via Relapse Records


Gavin Brown

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