The Greek darkwave post-punk band Ghostland finally released their debut LP “Dances On Walls” on French label Manic Depression Records. The album has been released on vinyl and digitally. Although they have been active, playing live since 2015 (we saw them opening for She Past Away in December 2017 at Death Disco, Athens), they still hadn’t released any material till this day. As a four piece, with Makrina: vocals, Argyris: guitar, Nikos: bass, Stavros: keyboards, the band present us with what one could say oldschool post-punk/goth rock but with a freshness that makes them sound very relevant to the scene of today.
The album’s eponymous opening track “Dances On Walls”, is an moody instrumental one minute track that serves as an intro, preparing for what will follow with “Leave Behind (Hollow Moon)”. A classic post-punk track with a very tight rhythm section with brooding bass and crisp drum machine topped with distorted guitar outbursts. Makrina delivers her vocals in a laid back but passionate way giving an atmospheric tone to the songs. On the third track the mood changes with the slower track “Wind Of Knives”. From the first thumping of the drums and hearing the baseline one can see the connection with The Cure’s “The Figurehead” from their ultimate dark masterpiece “Pornography”. It stands as an instant classic, darkwave at its best, that surely makes it an album standout! Next, they turn up the beat with “Don’t Wait” that stands out with its bouncy synth line but still retains the atmosphere of the rest of the tracks, something that the keyboards and neat guitar work provide. The first side closes with “Sway”, another moody haunting track that contains all the elements mentioned above, but here the vocals are even more spread out making them even more atmospheric.
Side two of the album kicks off with the dynamic “The Dancing Crowd” with its very emotional vocal. An instant hit that will surely be heard and danced in clubs all around the globe. One gets stuck by its pace, its guitar riffs and of cause by the heartbroken vocal. The tone grows darker on the following “Ice Song”. A sparse arrangement that gives it that icy feel, leaving plenty of space for Makrina’s vocal to echo, through its cavernous structure. The track “Lifeblood”, that was released a video prior to the album and could be regarded as a single, shows the band at its best and more powerful. Musically the track is a driving force, with all instruments equally giving it everything it needs to set a desolate landscape for the vocals and lyrics to deliver a cry of despair and painstaking loneliness. After left breathtaking, “Against The Light” follows and closes the album. Another sparse track filled with dark stabs of bass and an icy snare, that slightly climaxes with guitar.
Overall, a great debut album by a very promising band. An album that seems to grow on you the more you listen to it. Dynamic, passionate and atmospheric at the same time, it makes it an enjoyable listen. So, for the lovers of post-punk / darkwave, this is it! Enter the world of Ghostland and find the soundtrack you were looking for.
(Manic Depression Records)