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Ghost Against Ghost - Still Love album review

Cathartic soul-baring space prog masterwork.

Ghost Against Ghost - Still Love album artwork

Deep emotional trauma drives Christopher Bono’s latest work with Woodstock-based GAG.

Such was the impact of 2014’s unspecified family tragedy that he broke from completing an in-progress concept album to forge a cathartic purge sung from the lyrical angle of the victim: his mother. Reaching into his classical background and love of Floyd and Vangelis, Bono, joined by Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen, guitarist Anthony Molina and a spectral choir, constructs monolithic epics, embodied by the 10-minute title track’s disembodied confessional over transcendental space chorale. The swooning widescreen drama of the two-part The River Of The Intimate starts with a dreamy mist of strings and Vangelis piano before vocals loom, flecked with a hint of Gabriel. Planets dissolve and morph like early Tangs on the weightless drift of Your Secret Ocean, and if there’s an unashamed prog ballad heaven, Resume could be its earthly manifestation. This leaves Guerison as the grand, wordless finale, littered with childhood field recordings and voices in the ether, completing an intensely moving masterwork that took a lot for Bono to unburden from his devastated soul. He deserves support.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!