Album Review: Ghosts: Deluxe Remastered | Glenn Murawski
Even though the Sanctum rarely gives shelter to lyric-less LP’s or soundtrack albums, Glenn Murawski’s ‘Ghosts’ has this haunting, monumental quality I just couldn’t resist writing about. It’s a dive into a concealed yesterday and an unknown tomorrow. Let the adventure begin!
In the homonymous ‘Ghosts’, a distorted wind synth sounds desperate to grab the listeners attention, like a warning, an eerie omen for what is following. Until this ghastly -but bright- chime comes to ‘glitter-up’ this darkness, giving a sense of comfort. Here, Murawski is somehow making the obscurity feel optimistic. At the same time the unconventional, hasty beat seems to be more than eager to move on to ‘Specters’ and so are we.
Tense, rising strings are entering the stage, giving off a sense of anxiety and, in no time, the track is rapidly climaxing, transforming itself into this epic soundtrack material that dwells between the Egyptian Pyramids and outer space. Folklore-ish strings and piercing synths become one and I sense this album will be an epic hybrid borrowing from a handful of worlds, both real and fictional. Two full minutes until the ethereal ‘Succubus’ arrives as an underwater choir, slowly burning into an eastern soundscape while bravely adding breakbeat-style percussion. Talk about breeding genres! ‘The Succubus’ is something to remember and definitely return to in order to fully swallow this wondrous union of sounds.
‘Haunting’ keeps this deeply ethnic character, taking it into darker, more abstract fields, leaving space for your mind to get lost and even get scared. As soon as the echoing kicks start hitting, the instrumental is elevated to a post-apocalyptic level and the kicks start dancing with a sharp electronic detail into a heavy vibe.
While floating into this futuristic world, Phantoms’ gravity settles us to the ground immediately for a dance under the trance of its techno-ish sound. This contemporary touch came as a surprise and it was much needed! Right place - right time. Another mysterious rhythm is once again present, an integral part of the experience.
Like a brother to ‘Haunting’, ‘Revenants’ is opening up fully-minimal, only to explode into this rich mix of bells, bold percussion and edgy synths and then fade out to ‘GhostsII’, maybe the most intriguing piece until now (no offence). Experimental meets pop meets goth, all that into a glorious, cinematic 4-minute anthem. Let’s say that both lovers of the mainstream and weirdos will get something out of this second part of ‘Ghosts’.
Now, the grandiose ‘Spirits of the Dark’ is among the tracks you immediately recognize as OST material. Easy to visualize in the credits of a film in the likes of ‘The Mummy’. It’s the urgency of the snares and kicks that screams ‘action’ and it’s the splendor of the choir that invites the listener into a sacred, forbidden place. This piece is begging to be heard in theatres!
‘Deadly Apparition’ starts playing and it’s like witnessing an ancient god’s funeral. A promising opening which, to be frank, feels flatter than everything before it as the track progresses. Not necessarily in a negative manner though. One would say it signals the end of the album or even works as a transition to ‘Summoning the Wrath’ which is the official closure of ‘Ghosts’. Distorted chords and ethers that come and go make for an inconvenient piece, during the beginning, that ends up rendering all the qualities we’ve seen throughout this cohesive body of work successfully.
To sum up, if someone asked me 'How does this album feel like?', I’d say that Glenn Murawski built a temple in the middle of a secret, trackerless desert and gathered the future and the past together to exchange vows and become one. 'Ghosts' is a beautifully dark ceremonial, unifying all the civilizations that ever existed on this earth to celebrate their existance. It's a promising album with huge potential for visual experimentation and I can proudly say that the Sanctum was honored to have discovered this illusory temple in the desert.
Enjoy Ghosts: Deluxe Remastered here: