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A Review of Seven Dark Lords - Ghost In Here

On ‘Ghost In Here’, Seven Dark Lords venture through tales of troubled humanity that tackle everything from drink and drugs to love and war.

Seven Dark Lords’ second album builds on the Americana and Alternative country foundations placed on their debut, with a more expansive and comprehensive sound. What started as a collaborative project between Darren Capp and Bill Kerry, is now a fully-fledged band project with Max Johson (bass), Steve Blacow (lead guitar) and Dan De Wit (drums) jumping aboard this soulful odyssey.

The record opens with ‘Counterpoint’, which is a perfect curtain raiser for the stories and themes that pop up across all twelve tracks. From the personal anecdote: ‘You loved my favourite t-shirt of the ‘Allman Brothers Band’/ Do you remember it's the one we bought from ‘Jo-Jo’s second hand’’, there is a level of world-building that still leaves enough to allow the imagination to run wild through the chugging momentum of the opener, whilst also creating a personal address.

‘Ghost In Here’ is produced by the legendary Chris West, who has worked with household names such as Status Quo, The Who and The Verve. Here, West helps to strike a succinct balance between the intricacies of the guitar, the backbeat of the drums, the underlying current of the bass and the carefully crafted lyrical stories.

‘Prayer for a Troubled Mind’ (Capp) and ‘Girl From The Lake’ (Kerry) are two standouts that encapsulate the tense yet emotionally provoking themes of the album. The former yearns for the arrival of ‘Lady Morning’ and pleads for the departure of ‘Father Darkness’ as the song also weighs in on faith (Old man religion) and facts (Brother Science). ‘Prayer for a Troubled Mind’ doesn’t seek answers but rather asks questions underneath the umbrella of intimacy. 

Kerry’s ‘Girl From The Lake’ follows a darker path, aided with vivid imagery and an ambiguous ending that feels like the final shot of a film, with the instrumental outro allowing the group’s musical talents to show as the credits roll.

One of the major selling points of ‘Ghost In Here’ is each offering being so unapologetically unique with its own tale whilst also managing to compliment the rest of the album thematically. Despite Capp and Kerry sharing songwriting and vocal duties almost in an alternative pattern, the flow of the songs never feel lost, jumbled or forced and that is testament to the commitment of the band, lyrically and sonically, in building a signature sound and world.

It is clear that Seven Dark Lords have settled on their musical aesthetics and that is what helps to make this record so well structured but also engaging. Fans of Americana, Folk and Alternative Country will very quickly find a home here in familiar themes. But those also looking to dip their toes into this whirlwind world that follows the darker trails of humanity will also find something to enjoy straight away. 

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