Born as a solo project for Brooklyn musician and actor Alec A. Head, Ghostbound was originally a teenage curiosity named Timshel. After adding bassist Noah Shaul, the project has since expanded to a full lineup to materialize Head’s vision of lush, cinematic metal. In 2018, Ghostbound added multi-instrumentalist Talha Alvie (The D/A Method), and drummer David E. Richman (End of Hope, St. Bastard, Witch Taint) before releasing the band’s All is Phantom debut. Now Ghostbound continues their debut’s nautical theme on their new album, Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme. Decibel Magazine is thrilled to premiere the album before its release on March 26th. The album will be available digitally, along with a vinyl release from Red Nebula.
A lullaby of waves welcomes Head’s shimmering harmonies. “And We Are Already At Sea” sounds like a capable captain guiding his artistic vessel through a storm. Head’s vocals and riffs seem drenched in the light of a dying day. Head is well-versed playing black metal as an ex-member of Kosmodemonic. But Head sidelines the harshness of those recordings for Ghostbound. This album dwells in the golden hour twilight, where director Terrence Malick might roll his camera. Imagine a smudge of Alcest and Wovenhand before the fall of dusk, and that prepares you for “Ada, Age of Eight.” In “Bosun’s Lament,” Head’s speak-singing conjures 21st century Nick Cave if he had theatrical training. Later, the hypnotic post-punk of “For My Sweet Mary Thyme” swirls into a maelstrom of dissonance. But sunny album closer “Seaward” plucks the album from the maelstrom’s maw and redirects it safely to shore. Like the album’s emotive painted cover, Ghostbound’s songs feel like they’re freshly painted on a canvas. The melodies are bright and glistening, like the brush strokes have yet to dry. There’s a stunning earnestness and vulnerability on display, down to the last crash of waves.
“Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme represents our attempt at a singular, conceptual experience that is meant to be heard in full,” shares Head. “I think of it as an “expansion pack” to our debut record, All is Phantom. Five extra chapters tacked on to the end of the novel, if you will, so that we can finally close it and move on to something new.”
Join the voyage and press play to stream Ghostbound below.