With being a long-term fan of Vengeance Rising for many many years, I was very interested to hear this EP Ghost Tribe from the band Once Dead, which consists of former Vengeance Rising and Die Happy members Doug Thieme, Larry Farkas, Roger Dale Martin & featuring Hand Of Fire frontman Jim Settle.
When I met the band just over two years ago, the level of excitement was building after a long conversation with Jim and the boys on the progress of the band. At that time there was still unrest within, as the boys were undecided on the band’s name and plans to still run with past Vengeance Rising endeavours.
When my good friend and colleague Anthony Gober from Christian Band Shirts started to roll out Once Dead’s merchandise we were graced with the EP release from the band as a digital download. Straight away I couldn’t miss this opportunity, so I snapped it up.
Eager to burn my digital download onto disc (I prefer that), I put it in my CD player and I was surprised by the outcome. First track “Eternal Man” came to being, and sure enough the thrash was back in stunning fashion. Jim Settle’s vocal style is so recognisable you would have thought you were listening to another Hand Of Fire song, melodic in some areas, but with the guitar sounds that gave Vengeance their name.
Title track “Ghost Tribe” was up next, you could definitely tell that even their former band Die Happy has influenced this song with more of a hard rock edge, more melodic throughout than the first song and with also some blues-infused elements that do appear constantly.
“So Worldly” picks up the pace again, vocally in a similar vein of Ozzy Osbourne with more distorted aspects, as the song speeds through you find a mix of different genres in one. The thrash element is the obvious one, but the band even throw in punk-infused influences that you would expect in a Punk Rawk Show, then a classic Vengeance solo guitar sound is thrown in to give the track much more of the flashback flavour.
Finally, “Within These Walls” runs down the road of a more melodic rock direction, that does have some very catchy riffs that would be expected for more of a progressive hard rock outfit, yet still having influences of Black Sabbath and Ozzy which are clearly displayed until the very end of the EP.
Overall a very entertaining but short EP. I was expecting more thrash from the boys, however that way of thinking can easily be done when we suddenly put a band in a box and not allow ourselves to appreciate the possibilities of creativity.
Christian Sullivan – 8/10
The Metal Onslaught Magazine
The EP Ghost Tribe can be found exclusively with Christian Band Shirts.