Live Review: Ghost B.C. @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver – April 29th 2013

The show only had around four hundred in attendance. However, they knew something that most didn’t, Ghosts B.C. are a metal band that in the next few months will be hugely popular. Only some of us will be able to legitimately brag that we were at their first Vancouver show.

Looking back I’m glad that I missed them at Coachella this year ‘cause these type of shows are best suited in a dark club and not in the daylight of the California desert. The theatrical performance impact is severely lost in festival situations.

It’s hard to take this band seriously as anything more than a gimmick. They rely heavily on theatrics, and have a good way of manipulating the audience into believing that they’re a devil worshiping ministry trying to convince you that the end of the world is a good thing (insert R.E.M song here).

Ghosts B.C. are a black metal band, one of the few that is palatable to everyone musically. The singing is both haunting and beautiful. You feel as though you’re in a Catholic church with heavy guitar riffs in the background.The lead singer (who is nameless and faceless) was dressed like the evil twin of the pope, scared me when he faced my direction.

They clearly know their way around a stage: working with light and shadows, smoke, and well-tailored costumes that made you feel like all your nightmares were coming true. Hokey in theory, however, well executed enough that it got the attention of even the Commodore staff that by second nature often ignore what is happening on stage.

Myself, personally I’m not sold that they’re worship any dark deities, and in some cases feel uncomfortable associating with the idea of real devil worship music. Perhaps it’s shadows of my Muslim upbringing that is scaring me a little. Removing the religion to the back burner, the music is fucking good.

Their first album Opus Eponymous is very old school 80’s in sound. Very much like Iron Maiden. Their current album, debut to the North American audience, Infestissumam is a little more produced than but still maintains that core Iron Maiden like sound.

The reason why I was curious about this band is ‘cause Dave Grohl (they recorded an ABBA cover together) is a huge fan. Lately I’ve been taking whatever he says as gospel. I got a lot more out of the show than I had originally expected. It was easy for me to ignore the under mixed vocals and the imbalance of the guitar mix when you’re hypnotized and lost in the “stage play.”

The audience was surprisingly not the typical uniformed metal crowd but rather a mixture of the curious and music geeks who were in it for the just the compositions and nothing more.

They’re marketable, they will go places and they already have a brand behind them. I can picture in the next few months every adolescent male wearing their shirts to fill an emotional void of the real world, the same way my friends and I did when Marilyn Manson first emerged on the scene back in 1996.


Photos of Ghost B.C. © Pavel Boiko

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