What is the best way to follow up a great album? With an even better album of course, and the Creepsylvania residents have delivered once again. Ghoul is one of those bands that never disappoints. Their past three full-lengths are all amazing and “Transmission Zero” is no different. Ghoul added more of a death metal aura to their most recent album, “Splatterthrash” by using more melodies and death metal styled riffs, but they seem to have gone back to the grind/death/thrash stylings that they had on “We Came For the Dead” and “Maniaxe” to this record, and that is Ghoul at their absolute best.
“Transmission Zero” has all of the Ghoul trademarks that past albums had, like the brutal and ridiculously catchy riffs that are more than capable of getting any metalhead to bang their head. “Brain Jerk” and “Blood Feast” feature riffs that are destined to be venues’ worst nightmares, as they will get any crowd to destroy whatever is in sight, they are so damn catchy and aggressive. Songs like “The Mark of Voodoo” and “Tooth and Claw” also are guaranteed to ignite the moshing itch in metalheads, due to the heavy breaks found on the tracks.
Along with the assault caused by the rhythm guitars, the lead guitar parts here remind the listener that Ghoul can also write some cool solos and melodies to compliment the vicious riffs. The solos found on the opening instrumental “The Lunatic Hour,” as well as “Destructor” all shred and suit the music very well, while the solo found on “Metallicus Ex Mortis” is extremely bluesy and seems like it would find a nice home on a Black Sabbath song.
In addition to the guitars, the bass and drums do their jobs just fine, but hardly stand out like the riffs do. The vocals on the other hand, are a very integral part of the Ghoul sound and always have been. There are the very low and guttural vocals, along with the aggressive thrash styled vocals similar to Morbid Saint, and the death metal growls that allow for a more varied sound. Not many bands can pull this off, but Ghoul is one that excels at it, and it shows here on “Transmission Zero.”
“Transmission Zero” is every bit as great as all Ghoul fans hoped it would be. If you’re a fan of any of their previous material, then you will love this album just the same. The best tracks to be found here are “The Mark of Voodoo,” “Brain Jerk,” and “Tooth and Claw.”