Just how good the new Ghost Iris record, Comatose, is has been one of the biggest and most welcome musical surprises of 2021. The success of the record, which really doubles down on the heavier aspects of the Danish djentsters’ sound, is due in no small part to the influencene of NWOAHM heroes Chimaira, whose iconic frontman, Mark Hunter, shows up on the album’s opening, standout track, “Desert Dread.” As the band explain:
Growing up, Chimaira was not only one of our biggest influences as young aspiring musicians, but also a band that really helped introduce each of us to the world of heavier music. Their approach to writing, riffing and performing has always inspired us. Chimaira is just one of those bands we never grew out of, and when we started writing the music for Comatose we realized that we miss that type of overly “metal” riffing they did. It’s groovy, it’s heavy, it’s metal. They have always been a huge inspiration for us but more than ever on Comatose. So when we started discussing possible vocal features for this album, the only person we had in mind was Mark Hunter. It was him or no one. We reached out to him and he was really stoked on the project. He loved the song and laid down a fantastic feature. It was his first time recording vocals since his throat cancer so it was really special for him as well. It’s honestly very surreal to have one our childhood hero’s singing on one of our songs. Life is incredible.
“Desert Dread” is only the pinacle of Comatose‘s greatness, however, and there are plenty more impressive influences to be found beneath the surface.
Jesper (vocals & lyrics)
Thornhill – The Dark Pool (2018)
A more intimidating and profoundly riveting album from such a young band, and their first full length at that, is not easy to find. The Dark Pool is a lesson in atmosphere and highs and lows. This album takes you on a beautiful ride, abruptly contorting into the sheer force of heaviness. As far as vocal content, this album really shines through to me and I feel like it’s a very vocally driven album, which is truly shown on multiple songs. The tone of Jacob Charlton’s voice is very impressive and quite unique, the way he goes into high notes really strikes a nerve in me personally. As a whole The Dark Pool really is an impressive feat, for a band that is so new. It paints so many pictures, takes you through the bitter and the sweet aspects of life, and the result is simply marvelous. A huge inspiration to me personally.
Top 3 songs: “Where We Go When We Die”, “Red Summer”, “Lily And The Moon”
Slipknot – Iowa (2001)
Iowa was released a month after I turned 11. Iowa is dark, heavy and honest. The riffs on the album are simple and catchy. Corey Taylor’s vocals and lyrics are just out of this world and Joey Jordison drumming style just matches it all to perfection. The combination of Paul Gray and his bass lines with Jim Root and Mick Thomson riffing style on this record, is something I have admired since I started listening to Slipknot. Iowa is the best album they have made and the biggest inspiration for the type of music I make today.
Top 3 songs: “People = Shit”, “New Abortion”, “The Heretic Anthem”
Pantera – Cowboys From Hell (1990)
If you ask me, Cowboys from Hell is probably one of the best albums ever made. I remember listening to “Primal concrete sledge ” when i was about 8 years old with my dad in our living room, i was absolutely blown away. The riffs, the grooves, the aggression, this specific song and album made me want to play guitar and bang my head. I take so much influence from Dimebag and the riffs that i write in Ghost Iris. There’s not a second of this masterpiece that i dont love.
Top 3 songs: “Primal Concrete Sledge”, “Heresy”, “Medicine Man”.
Meshuggah – Obzen
I first listened to Obzen just after its release in 2008 and it was my first ever encounter with Meshuggah. I remember the exact moment I listened to the record and how my jaw just kept on dropping to the ground, trying to comprehend what was going on. Obzen totally changed my perception of music and how I would go about listening to music up until this very day. I have still yet to find an album that I truly believe can compare to this flawless album. This album is also the sole reason I started playing drums and pursuing music as a whole. I never could’ve imagined the impact this album would end up having on my life. I also have several tattoos relating to the album.
Top 3 songs: “Obzen”, “Dancers to a Discordant System”, “Electric Red”.
Comatose is out now, through Long Branch Records.