GHOST BRIGADE took the world by surprise. Their debut album "Guided by Fire" (2007) was received with raving reviews and praised by the music press all around the globe. Obviously the Finns hit a nerve with their highly original blend of Post-Rock, Metalcore, Progressive Rock, Death and Doom Metal. As a result "Guided by Fire" received laurels for being "impressively atmospheric, dark, intelligent and passionate", while letting "KATATONIA's grief collide with the wrath of NEUROSIS".
Now GHOST BRIGADE return with their second masterpiece "Isolation Songs" and the response is even more enthusiastic. Capturing the title "Album of the Month" in Germany's Metal Hammer and highest scores in soundchecks and reviews of many other magazines all over Europe the Finns seem to be soaring to the sky. Trying to explain this rare musical success story, one has to return to the band's roots:
When GHOST BRIGADE was formed in 2005 in Jyväskylä, Finland, there were a few things that were agreed upon before the songwriting began. This would be a band beyond musical limitations and open-mindedness would be the main approach to making music. Anything would be tried out, regardless of if it's Pop, Metal or anything in between. In the end, quality, sincerity and being satisfied to your own doings are the only things that truly matter. "We think that if you don't put your heart into your music, you shouldn't be doing music in the first place", declare the band members.
Only one year after their founding, GHOST BRIGADE release their first and only 4-track demo CD, which bears the simple title "Demo, 2006" and paves the way to a record deal with Season of Mist. In many ways, "Guided by Fire" is a natural continuation to that well received 4-track demo CD but at the same time, it dares to visit many unexplored territories, brings a lot of new elements to the table as well as shows characteristics previously unknown to the band. And because of just that, it hopefully has the ability to challenge the listener. "We try not to over-analyze things. When we compose a song, we just kind of go with the flow and see what comes out of it. We know in our hearts if it's a GHOST BRIGADE song or not. It really is as simple as that. If we get goose bumps from it, then it's good. And even if we have always tried to avoid locking ourselves in a genre and are incessantly searching for new ways to express ourselves, at the same time, when we make music together it always seems to come out as something dark, oppressive, melodic, dynamic and heavy. Those are adjectives we couldn't escape even if we wanted to. So there's definitely a common thread in there that ties all of our songs."
"Guided By Fire" was recorded, mixed and mastered during winter and spring 2007 at Seawolf Studios (AMORPHIS, SWALLOW THE SUN) which is located on an tiny island just outside Helsinki and partly at the band's home studio in Jyväskylä. Engineering duties were handled by band's house-engineer Mikko Poikolainen and by Aaro Seppovaara, who is better known to some as the guitarist and vocalist of Finnish rock band BLAKE. "We have worked with Mikko many times before when we all played in different bands before GHOST BRIGADE so we knew he was the only guy for the job and Seawolf would be the perfect place to put the record on tape. Mikko knows exactly where we're coming from and how we want GHOST BRIGADE to sound like, so obviously working with him and Aaro was easy. They both also liked the material so it goes without saying that was a big bonus. We knew we could trust them and they would both do their best to make the album sound as good as it does even if the recording process wasn't so easy at times. We owe them the world."
With "Guided by Fire" these five long-time friends, vocalist Manne Ikonen, guitarists Wille Naukkarinen and Tommi Kiviniemi, bassist Janne Julin and Veli-Matti Suihkonen on drums and percussion have created something that you just can't ignore by saying "I've heard all this before" or "It's pretty OK but it sounds a bit like this and that". You have to dig deeper than that to fully understand what's in the core of these 45 minutes. "If someone asks us what our influences are, we won't necessarily have a definitive answer", guitarist Wille comments. "I guess we are influenced by anything that we think sounds good. We all have wide and different tastes in music, everything from Pop to electronic music and from Rock to Death Metal. We just try our best to make music we'd like to hear our ultimate favourite band play. We don't really waste our time figuring out what influences us and what doesn't. And besides, the source of motivation to do a new song doesn't have to be other music at all. It can be a movie, something you've seen or heard on the street during the day or a state of mind you're in. Anything that moves you, basically."
The critics agree for a change, but far from being overwhelmed by their instant success, GHOST BRIGADE continue to simply work hard on their music. Appearing at renowned festivals like Hellfest (France) or Tuska (Finland) they immediately win their audiences over with breathtaking live performances, which have matured during the years since the band's founding in 2005. In the meantime session keyboard player Aleksi Munter (SWALLOW THE SUN, INSOMNIUM) is becoming a full member. Due to the success of their debut, GHOST BRIGADE's next step is being anticipated with great expectations. Again recorded in Helsinki's Seawolf Studios with Antti Malinen, "Isolation Songs" takes the distinct style of these Finns to a higher level without producing a "Guided by Fire" part II. This second album is exactly as heavier, gloomier, more extreme, varied and dynamic as it should be, while adding new elements at the same time. Delve down deep into these "Isolation Songs" rejoice and weep. If you do not care about genres, limitations or business politics but just love great music then GHOST BRIGADE might be exactly the right band for you: welcome aboard!