Although most of my reviews are for Grunge bands, Ganesa is a metal band from Petrozavodsk, Russia with some hints of grunge influence here and there. All of their song titles and album title are in Russian, so they have been translated here into English. Their album title translates to “The First Sigh.”
One thing that stands out about this album is the recording quality. The album was funded completely by the band without any record label support, yet the sound quality is superb. Every song except for one has the production quality of a major label release. The guitar tones in particular are amazing. The vocals display a wide range of emotions and volumes. Many independent bands have trouble making that kind of vocal fit into the song well, but on this album, they always fit into the song very well. If you are a fan of sludgy, brutally heavy guitars, it really doesn’t get much better than Ganesa!
The album begins with a slow, growling song called “One” which reminds me a little bit of the band Tool. The guitar parts are very cool, the vocals are passionate and the song really rocks. It’s a great opening track.
Things speed up a little bit with the next song “Poison.” This is a short song with more of a metal feel, but it’s still a very good song.
“Inhaling Pain” brings the tempo back down and offers a trippy and somewhat psychedelic vibe that makes me think a little bit of Alice In Chains if they had been around in 1968 with metal guitar tone. The bass guitarist has an opportunity to shine on this track with a very cool, busy bass guitar part. The elements combine to make “Inhaling Pain” one of the best songs on the album.
“Smeared” continues the trippy feeling started with “Inhaling Pain” but this time without the psychedelic vibe. Although very unique, there are elements of Marilyn Manson to this track – brutally heavy while making your head spin with dizzying guitar effects.
If there is a straight forward hard rock / punk song on this album, it would be “The Cult of Money.” Driving guitars and drums rev this song up about as fast as you can before it would have lost the groove. This is the kind of song I would expect to hear during a fight scene or action sequence of a movie.
“Hundreds of Days” begins with a wicked bass line and guitar feedback that instantly makes me think of White Zombie’s “Black Sunshine.” The drums keep rocking throughout the song while the guitars alternate between driving metal and haunting ethereal sounds.
There is a music video for Track 7 “Resin” to promote the album. I don’t know that “Resin” is the best song on the album or the best representation of the band. It’s a good song and it does display their ability to change direction within a song. It has an awesome bass line, very cool guitar, and is short enough that first time listeners wouldn’t be tired of the song before it’s over. For this reason, it’s probably not a bad choice for a music video, but I think several other tracks on here are actually better.
Up next is the very up-tempo and very short “Bile.” I wouldn’t say this song is punk, but it is very fast drum part that is similar to punk drumming through most of the song. Once again, the bassist is given a chance to shine with some awesome bass parts.
To my ears, “Farm” is the least impressive track on the album. There’s a cool guitar riff that happens a few times, but it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the song. The vocals don’t sound as interesting as the vocals in the other songs and it doesn’t feel like the song ends as much as just stops. The song isn’t terrible at all, but compared to the rest of the album (which is pretty damn amazing), this track doesn’t stand up to the quality of the rest.
The album closes by changing direction drastically with the song “Hell.” Musically it is a very cool, well-written song, but it seems to be a different style of music from the rest of the CD. Also, this song doesn’t sound like it was recorded in the same studio as the rest of the album. In fact, “Hell” is the only song on the album that doesn’t have professional recording quality. The song quality is much closer to what most independent bands albums’ sound like. Maybe that’s why it’s at the end of the album.
In closing, I would say this is a great album. As I mentioned earlier, the sound quality is excellent on 90% of the songs. It really sounds professional. Additionally, the songs are more complex than most of the music out there yet the musicians’ performances are unbelievably tight. They must practice a lot. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed the album more if the vocals were in English. However, it didn’t take away from the music. And if I were Russian, I would probably appreciate being able to listen to such an amazing band singing in my native tongue.
If you are a fan of intricate metal, give Ganesa a listen on bandcamp.
Check Ganesa out on Facebook.