Ghost Of Black River

Ghosts Of Black River

It is testament to the bond forged through music that a band which has only met, seen play, and performed with another band once before, would travel 400 kilometers to support them at their E.P launch.

That band is Ghosts Of Black River, who tonight make the trek from Townsville to support their fellow metallers, and new mates Odius at the Balaclava Hotel.

“Luke (guitarist/singer from Odius) contacted our bass player Jason about it initially,” vocalist Ryan Giezendanner explained.

“We played with them earlier this year at Hellbound in Cairns and really dug their sound. That was the first time I’d heard them play or even heard of them and I was really impressed with them. We got chatting after the gig and Luke and Jason stayed in contact and one day just hit us up to come and play. We’re always keen to come to Cairns, we’ve always had a good time there, so we jumped at the chance!”

For those of you not fortunate enough to have heard Ghosts Of Black River at any of their previous outings to Cairns, the best way to describe them is to loosely compare them to legendary metal band, Pantera – but that’s not by any means saying they are a clone of that great band.

They have their own unique blend of heavy metal laced with elements of New Orleans Southern metal, fused with dirty rock, all thrown into the blender to produce a ferocious sound that is their own.
Having been invited to Adelaide this time last year to play at a Dimebag Darrel tribute event, a truely remarkable achievement for a band from the North, Ryan says that the boys have got the itch to tour but have a launch of their own to concentrate on first.

“We’re doing the same sort of thing as Odius is now in that we are preparing for our own album launch early next year. At the moment we’re all getting in there and jamming as much as we can to strengthen things up. We’ve got a few songs to work through but we’ve actually got to cull it down a bit more. We’ve got it down to about 20 now,” he laughed.

With a recent upturn in the fortunes and popularity of metal in Australia, many bands in regional areas are making the move to the “big smoke” and trying to make their career in music with the big city dream in their eyes, but Ryan says that Ghosts Of Black River have not even entertained the idea of relocating.

“I think it’s actually good that we’re up here away from most of the action,” he said. “If we make enough noise from here then I think people are going to notice us more. We discussed moving down South briefly but we decided if we did we would be just one of 100 other bands. I think the benefit of living and playing up here is that if you’re doing it right and you’re going good then people are going to notice you and you’re going to stand out more.”

“Besides, we’ve all got families up here and the scene is going good and there’s plenty of shows. Cairns is only four hours away and Rocky and Brissy aren’t far to travel. We’re not going anywhere. The lifestyle up here is so good and laid back and I think it comes through in your music as well. The North Queensland attitude is everyone gets along with everyone and I think it’s healthier to be in a place where bands help each other, especially in the metal scene. I’ve always hated that whole competetive thing. It’s just music, it’s art. You make your own music so how can that be competetive? Everyone writes different music so appreciate it for what it is. There’s music for every different lifestyle. You’re not doing yourself any favours if you’re not putting out your hand to help other people.”

That national successful trending of  metal music is having an obvious impact on the Cairns scene, but Ryan is quick to point out that our Southern neighbours are reaping the benefits as well.

“We had a really good year in Townsville last year,” he mused. “This year a couple of local bands did what we were just discussing and moved South which opened up more opportunities here. We’ve probably been doing a gig a month which is the first time in a long time it’s been that constant so it’s really good. We have been getting good turnouts at every show too. I think things like Nico bringing Terrorfest to Townsville has really helped the scene along. Things are definately on the up.”

In the meantime, there’s tonight’s show at the Balaclava Hotel to get through,and Ryan said the band is raring to go.

“We haven’t been up there since Hellbound so we’re keen to play for you guys again,” he enthused.

“We just wanna get up there, get on stage, and rip into it.”

Kris Peters

Ghosts Of Black River and Salacious support Odius at the launch of their E.P ‘The Immortal One’ at the Balaclava Hotel tonight. Doors open at 7pm. Entry is free and copies of the E.P can be bought on the night for $10

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