Ghost Orgy - Lullabies For Lunatics - Thoth Music 2005
12 Songs
Running Time: 40:34

Ghost Orgy's three-song EP received a fair bit of airplay on my radio show in the weeks after I'd first received the disc. For myself, I was glad to provide an alternative to all the Lacuna Coil worship that was going on back in 2003. As time passed, though, I stopped bringing the disc to the station. Due to the presence of only three songs, I'd felt the newness had run its course, and didn't want to shove the same song into the ears of my listeners repeatedly. Also, while well-played, and not a direct clone of any band popular enough for people to notice, Ghost Orgy's EP wasn't able to find its way into my home listening often enough to matter. Still, the chorus of 'Born Dead' stuck in my memory, and I was glad to see the debut full-length arrive.

The first noticeable difference the two-odd years between the demo and Lullabies For Lunatics is the addition of a full time viola player. Any other female-fronted band would've taken on a keyboardist, so Elena Doroftel's presence in Ghost Orgy is most welcome, and goes to show that - if nothing else - these New Jerseyites aren't into doing things by the book. Doroftel's viola careens and capers like a drunken schizophrenic, one moment following calmly behind the beefed-up guitars of founder Meric Sarkhov, and the next sliding off the cliff and into caverns of insanity. Notable, also, is the realization that Ghost Orgy is (at least in opener 'Mortal Coil') more fractured semi-symphonic doom in ethic than in anything else. A smoky jazz phrase begins 'Bogota' before erupting into a slightly industrial groove, only to return to the original theme. The production is far more smooth on Lullabies... than on the EP, but still could use a bit more bite on the guitar side of things. The guitar sound on the demo had an urgency somewhat absent here, but it's nothing to put me off the album, and if this is the sound of a band growing, I'm willing to suffer the pangs of their blossoming. At a touch over four minutes, 'Twisted Into Oblivion' is the longest song to be found on the album, Ghost Orgy knowing that sometimes brevity is the better part of composition. As it is, 'Twisted Into Oblivion' takes us back to the shades of doom with which the band has been experimenting. After a couple mostly-forgettable numbers, 'Nothing' reaches from the abyss, Doroftel hammering and sawing away at her viola like a skeleton with broken fingerbones, while the sultry yet brassy voice of Dina Concina whirls around the musical madness. 'Sanity Overthrown' is easily the most uptempo song here, nearly brutally psychotic in sound, the rhythm section of Stevie Z and R. Van Tassel (must be Katrina's brother) holding their own quite ably. The three songs from the demo make an appearance now in reverse order. That's just as well, because 'Diva Of Destruction' is just bad all around. It reeks of camp, and just doesn't belong. 'Seeds' is an improvement, to be sure, featuring a nearly straightforward blues pattern. It is with 'Born Dead', however, that we find Ghost Orgy back on sure footing. Very sure, in fact, as Concina's powerful vocals wed themselves to music equal parts theatrical doom and power metal. It's kind of like what would happen if Doro Pesch fronted Theatre Of Tragedy for a song on the Velvet Darkness They Fear sessions.

With twelve songs, and still clocking in at around forty minutes, Ghost Orgy succeed where shit like Evanescence fails miserably. It's short (for the style), startlingly original, and definitely worth the price of admission.
 

www.ghostorgy.com


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