Review: “Ghost Stories I” by Red Tongue Ghost

Hailing from Chicago Illnois and calling themselves Blackened Stoner Metal, Red Tongue Ghost are a trio comprising Lihp (Vocalist/Bassist), Bor (Guitarist/Backing Vocals) and Rej (Drums) who have embraced their inner Norwegian ancestors and taken up traditional Black Metal names. Each member is a veteran of the Chicago Metal scene and forming this new project in August 2019 they took the name “Red Tongue Ghost“, which is taken from the Chinese folklore ghost, Diao Si Gui, who haunts the spirits of those who have committed suicide and charms others to join in with his long red tongue…

…”Ghost Stories I” begins with a News reel of speech samples depicting violent crime in Chicago as “Murder City” comes to life with a burst of Stoner Metal riffs and a bouncy bass line. Until the final onslaught of blast beats there isn’t anything that Blackened about the opening track, it comes off more like an Alienator affair with some straight riffs and a raw vocal bark. The track named after the band or vice versa in “Red Ghost Tongue (Diao Sigui)” comes in with a more raw overall sound perhaps recorded in a different studio and gives rise to the band showing more of the Blackened edge with some schizophrenic vocals and almost prayer like lyrics that are hilarious good fun. In a purely Evil way, you understand. Returning to a speech sample to set up “Mark 9“, which has a bass heavy sound as it positively foams at the mouth with higher tempo Sludge infused riffs and vocal musings. Red Tongue Ghost clearly don’t take themselves too seriously. Those introductions are are well thought out and help the band build to storyline of each track, which would be a lesser thing without it.

The Witch” has the first truly demonic vocals on it, which are buried underneath the lead vocal part of this mid track piece of wonder. Far more Blackened than any of the material that cam before it but with those mentally deranged vocals that make you think some sort of possession or drug fueled hallucination is going on, it’s downtempo low down moment is then blown out of the water by  a complete head rush of a track in “9 Syllable Ritual“. The trio challenge each other to play as fast as they can without turning it into a train wreck and they then proceed to hammer out a breakneck passed Stoner Black Metal track with Snorlax esq screech vocals at a relentless pace. “WWJD? Get Stoned!” asks What Would Jesus Do? Before running through some of the unbelievable events from the Biblical stories. It doesn’t necessarily have an anti religious vibe to it, instead pointing the finger at those who push organised religion onto their children. A solid and aggresive mid tempo cut it delivers a satisfying crunch with its rough around the edges feel. Your classic tale of rebellion is “Church Arsonist” which continues the sentiment from the previous cut while picking at the loose ends of the threadbare sweater of the Church, pulling the hypocrisies out as it chugs and roars along. You can’t help but think of the band as a lynch mob from the 1860’s turning up to burn the church down after the priest is found to be abusing children. Red Tongue Ghost are at their best when they have their bit between their teeth and this is is just the beginning of their chaotic reign [7/10]

Track listing

1. Murder City
2. Red Ghost Tongue (Diao Sigui)
3. Mark 9
4. The Witch
5. 9 Syllable Ritual
6. WWJD? Get Stoned!
7. Church Arsonist

Ghost Stories I” by Red Tongue Ghost is out now and available over at bandcamp

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