Album Review: Anup Sastry ”“ Ghost
The Skyharbor and Jeff Loomis drummer kicks up a prog metal storm on his debut solo album
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Side projects and solo projects are the new black. About three years ago, djent was the new black, as the latest wave of progressive metal took over the metal community. About three years ago was also when Keshav Dhar, guitarist of prog metal band Skyharbor, struck it big with his bedroom project Hydrodjent. Now, Anup Sastry, drummer of prog metal bands Skyharbor, Jeff Loomis and Canadian instrumental metal band Intervals, releases his own solo record, Ghost.
It’s arguable that djent and the new wave of prog metal is all about production and computer wizardry rather than skillful craft or instrumentation, but Ghost is Sastry’s serious attempt at showing off his drumming chops. He’s a drummer first on this album, blasting away on, well, every one of these nine tracks. But the guitars and bass parts on Ghost also come from Sastry, although they were programmed completely, as opposed to being tracked and recorded. Before you raise your finger or scowl, it’s difficult to complain when the riffs lock in perfectly on songs such as “Limitless” and “Wastelands.” The background ambient track that’s commonplace to all djent flows throughout this album as well, but it seems like Sastry gives it the least importance, except on the ambient-djent track “Discovery,” which pulls a bit too close to instrumental rock composer Cloudkicker’s territory.
Sastry channels more prog metal influences such as Meshuggah and TesseracT on tracks like “Skywalk” and “Reflex,” but comes into his own on the fittingly-titled “The Boss Level” and “Ghost.” This album is Sastry’s way of proving the drums are the most important element on a metal album this complicated, layered and heavy.
Unlike a lot of other current prog metal, you wouldn’t tire of Ghost easily. You’ll find a new favorite on every listen, amongst the endless bombardment of double-bass drumming and eight-stringed guitar riffs.
Key tracks: “The Boss Level,” “Ghost”
StreamÂ GhostÂ here