Ghost - In Stormy Nights [Drag City, 2007]
I like ambitious artists. And are Ghost ambitious. Never since the seventies has a group sounded more symphonic, more bombastic, more authentically psychedelic like this cra-a-a-a-zy sextet on their latest album. So, they are Japanese. But nothing can prepare you for this po-faced search for authentic psychfolk. Their sincerity would make even the worst perpetrators of the excesses of progressive jazzkrautrock nod their heads in dismay for this kind of audacity.
You know what time it is when the second song goes on for 28 minutes and unleashes an exquisite orgy of ritualistic improvisation and then injects it with fat chunks of broody jazz that would not have been out of place on Bitches Brew or Herbie Hancock's Trust or Sextant.
And then the most impressive part still has to come. On the three following pieces they storm the gates of heaven with an array of forgotten psych instruments and sound like a reincarnation of Cro-magnon (whose 'Caledonia' they cover here), Amon Düül II, The Incredible String Band, Comus and Jethro Tull combined. Ian Anderson, eat your heart out! No, eat your aqualungs out too!
Ghost are both out of place and out of time and still succeed in delivering what is now already one of the records of 2007. A forcefully uttered HURRAH! is the least you can come up with after this. Awesome just ain't the word I was looking for, but it will do nicely for now.