The Ghost Next Door – “The Ghost Next Door” (Mausoleum Records)
The Ghost Next Door are a new band formed by noted ex Skinlab / Sacrilege BC guitarist Gary Wendt whose desire to marry the dark grunge metal of Alice In Chains with the aggression and drive of Bay Area Thrash has been achieved on this groundbreaking debut! One of the featured artists in 2014’s Rob Flynn and Friends benefit concert, Wendt is well known in the Bay Area thanks to his prior credentials (including being tutored by Joe Satriani) and is based in Berkeley, reputedly living next to a haunted house which in turn inspired the band’s name. Initially recruiting bassist Seanan Gridley and drummer Sean Haeberman, the trio toured around California before laying down the tracks that would lead to this debut, although a split left Wendt alone to complete the record with the help of Steve ‘Snake’ Green (Skrew / Skinlab). Well, it’s nothing short of a monster! The deep, dark riffs cannot be overstated, pedigree perfected by growing up in one of metal’s legendary communities and yet also coolly laced by some mind bending jazz like licks while oozing power in every aspect whether in melancholy or heavy thrash grooves – awesome! Wendt’s voice is equally adept, at times kind’ve a lighter Layne Stayley while elsewhere in his hoarseness is reminiscent of the mighty Stevie Esquivel, combining the solidity and musical diversity at the core of The Ghost Next Door’s sound on catchy n classy songs like ‘All Fall Down’, ‘Forever My Demon’ and ‘Famous Last Words’. Now with a new band touring with DRI, Dr. Know, SpiralArms featuring Forbidden‘s Craig Locicero, and Comes with the Fall featuring Alice in Chains‘ William DuVall, Wendt’s expressive take on modern metal is hugely impressive on this highly recommended offering!