CD Review: European Ghost - No Peace No Sleep No Shelter
- Written by: Claudia Black
Artist: European Ghost
Title: No Peace No Sleep No Shelter
Genre: Post Punk / Industrial / Dark Wave
Release Date: 23rd September 2022
Label: Self Released
Bologna’s finest purveyors of martial dark Post-Punk are back with their third album to delight us after the glorious releases of ‘Pale And Sick’ (2016) and ‘Collection Of Shadows’ (2018). Between 2018 and now the band has been touring around Europe with the likes of the SISTERS OF MERCY, ANTIPOLE, THE CHAMELEONS and DEATH IN JUNE and they have played a diverse bunch of festivals that include Burning Man, Die In The Disco Festival, Radio Transmission and The Ghoticat Festival. And whilst doing this they have found the time to get into the studio and record this third instalment to their historical record of aural soundscapes and textures. Let’s dive right in and see what all the fuss is about shall we?
Ok then, the sinewy dark long shadowed post-punk with the usual cheese wire cutting guitars that are sparse and economically used are still here. The bass is still cacophonous and big. Sometimes on the whole note to give it that elongated fullness. The sounds weave in and out of each other, separating fleetingly. The tone colours are the usual dark deep blacks and piercing whites and all hues in between. ‘Stars In Heaven’ is the shortest and opening track and the atmospheres are set. This smears its way from start to finish like cold paint swished across a canvas with a gnarled hand. ‘Chrematismos’ feels open-throated and faceted like a diamond and it has this taste of bitterness in the mouth that’s kind of pleasing in a weird way. The machine drums are simple and punchy and the rim shots dance like candles light in a breezy room. ‘White Foals’ in contrast has opening bars that remind me of the 1970s TV series ‘The Persuaders’ starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis before that vibe morphs into some smooth ethereal synth sounds.
‘Good Night’ is next and the bass has a focused mission to push you forward. Simple and with a bit of weight behind it, the drum pattern helps it along with aplomb. It's reminiscent of something CLAN OF XYMOX would do albeit with a different vibe to the vocal. This is dreamy and sneering and hypnotic. ‘Hermetic’ is in the middle of the album so you could say that it is airtight in amongst the walls of sounds around it. Most likely though it could be about the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus. ‘Cold Lips’ does feel a bit icy. I’m reluctant to kiss anything in case my lips stick to it and I’ll need a cup of warm water to peel them off. The vibe is also a bit introspective and THE CURE like in the guitars especially. The vocal seems to sit further back in the mix with the guitars leading, the bass just behind. At this juncture we have come to the title track ‘No Peace No Sleep No Shelter’. This is a blinder of a track this is, the mood shifting back to a dark sneering one but with a hint of glassy-eyed morose joy. The guitars jangle and the bass intones in its cavernous dark space which I find quite marvellous.
‘Living In A Tomb’ pushes me into a daydream, the Dr Avalanche snappiness of the drums taking my mind off somewhere so that I have to use a snap of my own to bring me back down again. ‘The Wind That Comes From Underground’ is an ominous-sounding piece. Once again snappy drums are here but complimented by the sneering wiry thunk of guitars. But this time the drums are more mobile, like spectral figures draped in cloaks gyrating in the mist. Next is ‘The Garden of Delight’. Keyboards start this track in a sombre metre. The emphatic punch of drums pushes holes in the atmosphere whilst those familiar sharp wiry guitars follow through. I’m daydreaming, looking skyward at the stars. The album is closed with ‘Metropolix’. This is affixed to a warm drone and boom boom boom boom drums. There are martial overtones to this and I reluctantly have images of goose-stepping Russian conscripts reluctantly wedded to their task marching down a street with dead eyes. It’s also industrial in tone.
In summary, I don’t really have anything to say that is negative about this album, if there’s anything it’s so small that it’s not worth wasting energy commenting on. Maybe at a later date, these things might become irritations but for now, they don’t. All in all, it’s a pleasing listen and does not do down the memory of the previous two albums in any way. Also, the hairs still stand up on the back of my neck when listening to certain tracks. When I first listened to the album I was walking and the shivers had the effect of tripping me out of my walking gait momentarily until I pulled myself back in. The album is eleven tracks of exploration into the stages of human sleep and takes on a journey into the depths of consciousness. Consciousness indeed. A consciousness that makes more sense in its disjointed weirdness than the actual disjointed weirdness that is the real world. The title, by the way, is inspired by Italian poet Emanuel Carnevali who sang of an American’s hallucinogenic dream. Go listen dear reader, enjoy and be inspired.
01. Stars In Heaven
03. White Foals
04. Good Night
06. Cold Lips
07. No Peace, No Sleep, No Shelter
08. Living In A Tomb
09. The Wind That Comes From The Underground
10. The Garden Of Delights
Cristiano Biondo - Vocals and Lyrics
Giuseppe Taibi - Bass, Synths and Drum Machine
Mario d’Anelli - Synths
Total: 9 / 10
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