Ghoul “Noxious Concoctions” Review

Noxious Concoctions
Tank Crimes
Release date: February 2, 2024

The masked marauders collectively known as Ghoul, out of a mythical place known as Creepsylvania, are back on Noxious Concoctions.

Seven years have come and gone since we last heard anything new from Ghoul; a supergroup of sorts, made up by members and former members of Exhumed, Impaled, Dystopia, Phobia, Wolves In The Throne Room and Asunder. And in that time, not a lot has changed. Thankfully. You see, not everything needs to continue to evolve – and most times, evolution sucks the life and fun out of everything. Ghoul are still fun! Dumb, dumb fun.

Now, when I say dumb – in this day and age, I probably have to clarify that so that people don’t think I’m being rude of mocking the deaf community or whatever woke nonsense I can get accused of. Can I still say low-brow? Comedic music input? I don’t fucking know anymore.

See Also: Metallica “72 Seasons” Review

Noxious Concoctions opens up with the eerie and creepy The Eyes Of The Witch, and a film clip ripped right out of the 80s.  The kind of glorious thing a boutique film label like Vinegar Syndrome might put out for example. Then we break out into a slow set of chords while the second guitar chugs a long, building up to the eventual thrash blast that is to come and a fancy wee solo. There is a considerable amount of melody stuff into the many riffs that encapsulate this track, and the drummer is powerfully nasty and walks almost a D-beat line without actually being one.

The title track, Noxious Concoctions, is more of a straight up all-out old school thrash metal beast, with some definite moments of mid-90s death metal thrown in. Genres that tickle my heart strings as that was my time. And now that I’ve just aged myself, let me also say that a great many bands try to echo back to those days and most end up missing the point somewhere along the way. Not Ghoul. Nah, these masked creeps nail both the Thrash elements as well as the slowed down death metal passages.

And as each of the not-so-secret members of the group also contribute their vocals, we get a colorful variety of vocal styles and ranges throughout the record. The opening two tracks stick close to the death metal guttural growls and higher pitched snarled Thrash metal nastiness, and on Shotgun Gulch, we briefly get an old school hardcore style gang vocal part too. Stuff like this really helps keep things interesting and I suppose helps Ghoul appear to a wider audience. Then again, anybody into extreme music that gets to see Ghoul live becomes a fan. There’s no two ways about that. Those that know, know – and everybody else will get it when they see they play. Trust.

Finally, the fifth track, 1-900-DTH-Line, a cover originally recorded by Funerot some two decades agoand is some assimilated and made part of the Ghoul brand of splatter thrash!

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The whole shebang is over in roughly eighteen and a half minutes but that is long enough to leave a lasting impression on anyone. It would seem that Ghoul do enjoy dropping short playing EP’s more than they do full-length albums, and that’s fine – hopefully the next installment won’t take another seven years to reach us though.

Copies of this ripper can be had on Compact disc and vinyl through the mighty Tank Crimes label at this location. Recommended listening.

For Fans Of: Impaled, Phobia, Municipal Waste
Track Listing:

01. The Eyes Of The Witch
02. Noxious Concoctions
03. Shotgun Gulch
04. Ratlicker
05. 1-900-DTH-Line


Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability