Red Fang - Only Ghosts album review

Portland riffmongers’ spirited performance

Red Fang Only Ghosts album cover

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As endearingly thunderous as they’ve always been, Red Fang have never strayed far from a righteous diet of riff-driven meat ’n’ potatoes. The end result is a sound that sits somewhere between Motörhead and Mastodon, the ingenuity of the latter outweighed by the heads-down bludgeon of the former.

Only Ghosts hardly qualifies as a huge revelation, but it does showcase a more instinctively adventurous approach. Those who revel in the simple power of a massive riff delivered with venom will still find plenty to enjoy here: opener Flies is an unapologetic heavy metal stomper, and the spiky Not For You is a riot of Helmet crunch and Fugazi fire.

Dig deeper and the Portland quartet’s fourth album is both their most imaginative and their best. From the woozy menace of No Air and the Killing Joke-tinged Shadows through to the doomy rampage of Living In Lye, this rocks harder and smarter.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.