Orgy - Lullabies For Lunatics - Thoth Music 2005
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.