Don’t expect the cliché rock songs about drugs, love and girls from exciting British dark rockers Chasing Ghosts. The band explore the human condition with emotive lyrics delivered through haunting vocals against a backdrop of engaging, atmospheric instrumentals in a sound they describe as “dynamic, emotive and cathartic.”
The predominantly Milton Keynes and London-based band began as a personal project born out of bass and keyboard player Lee Brueton and lead guitarist Harry Mitten (lead guitar) leaving their previous band in 2014. But it swiftly developed into something more serious as they brought vocalist Nelson, rhythm guitarist Ashley Clark and drummer Richard Still into the mix.
They released a debut album in 2018 that gave us a taste for a sound that Lee describes to us as: “Solid heavy rhythm guitars, deep bass, dark cutting memorable lead riffs, emotive lyrics, haunting vocals, sombre keys and atmospheric synths and strings. There are moments of pure rage, interspersed with cries of quiet reflection.”
But they have plenty of new music to come, which begins with latest single Bring Me Suffering, which was released a couple of weeks ago. It opens up with a little flickering guitar lick over an atmospheric background of drawn-out strings, then bigger instrumentals kick in as Nelson’s deep vocals creep in.
That kicks into higher pitched vocals “I am no-one, I am nothing, I am fragile, I am worthless, Bring me chaos, Bring me suffering, Bring me tragedy, Until the bitter end” answered and supported by guest vocals from Megan Pettitt in a delicious chorus.
Another verse and big chorus drop into light keyboard notes, then drawn-out strings and distant high-pitched vocals are suddenly joined by a big guitar solo and heavier chords. A flickering lick continues as the dual vocals return with distant, echoey renditions of the chorus.
Big held vocal notes are supported by the pace of the instrumentals kicking up led by heavier, faster drums as the track draws to an atmospheric ending. It’s dark, brooding and intense but delicious and intoxicating, and this spectacularly good track has an enjoyable video to support it. Check it out below:
On the track, Lee told us: “Even though it’s still early days, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response we have received. With this release we wanted to take everything to the next level, the songwriting, the musicianship, the production, promotion, all aspects of the video and including the people we work with.
“We were lucky enough to have our songs mixed and mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano, who has worked with huge bands such as Paradise Lost, Ghost, Myrkur, to name a few, so listeners can expect to hear a bigger, more dynamic and poignant sound.”
Bring Me Suffering is the first track to be released from the band’s new EP, which is out on Friday and we have reason to be very excited about. On it, Lee told us: “Anything that you have physically put time and effort into and mentally poured heart and soul into is going to mean a lot, when you finally get to present it to people. There’s been so much work that has gone into every part of this EP and the video for the title track.
Even though this is not a full album, I believe the message people will take from this and the overall connection they can get with these songs could potentially be even greater than These Hollow Gods. The EP follows on from These Hollow Gods, with similar passion and drive, but there is a progression into a harder more aggressive sound and conversely an exploration into the softer, more pensive parts.
“Introducing natural strings, alongside our piano and synths, plus some haunting female harmonies, has really elevated our sound. Lyrically it is a further look into the many different human emotions that dictate the way we live our lives.”
And to get more of a taste of what to expect from Chasing Ghosts check out These Hollow Gods, the title track from their debut album, in the video below:
While a personal favourite is Fallen From Grace, which opens up with big guitar chords and drops into a light verse led by Nelson’s engaging deep vocals. It explodes to life in a big chorus of “Fallen from grace, Such a shame, Such a waste.”
A second verse and chorus drops into a section of light guitars and lingering bass before diving into a big smash of heavier guitar chords under a piercing guitar solo. Check it out in the video below, which features Pixie Le Knot, one of the UK’s leading contortionists.
The band takes influence from a wide range of music, from rock and doom to classical to black and death metal and everything in between, with key inspirations including Paradise Lost, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Katatonia.
And on what inspires their music, Lee adds: “I think as a band we like exploring the human condition. Opportunities missed, moments ruined or skewered in life. Regret, sorrow and the darker parts of thoughts tend to come up a lot.
“I think the music is very uplifting in sound and very emotional but with lyrics that are about breaking through those moments in life or reflecting on the hard times, so contrast plays a big part for us. We don’t write your typical rock songs about sex, drugs and rock and roll or happy love songs!”
There’s plenty more to come from the band and we’re really excited to hear what’s coming our way with the new EP released on Friday (12 June). They’ll also have new merchandise coming, more song writing, and they’re on the lookout for people to collaborate with ahead of hitting festivals and tours in 2021.
And Lee adds: “We are here first and foremost for the music we love making and believe in and we appreciate every single one of the streams we get, every view of our video, every like, every comment. Every last bit of support from our amazing fans makes it all worthwhile. Everything you see and hear, from the music, lyrics, artwork, videos and even editing and production, have come from us, our passion to deliver the best we possibly can… without compromise.”