Ghost Box Orchestra: “Vanished” Review

Ghost Box Orchestra  |  Self-Released


Ever since I saw my first Clint Eastwood spaghetti western as a kid I have been fascinated with the soundtrack music of Ennio Morricone. Those bleak instrumentals, the corral vocals, all crafted to evoke a dusty, desolate, desert landscape. Two albums in and I finally realize why I have been so enthralled with Ghost Box Orchestra. Listening to Vanished, I came to the realization that they simply use a different pallet than Morricone to paint a similar landscape.

Unlike Morricone’s bright, hot desert landscape, GBO use drone and volume to create a darker, colder, nighttime version. Drums throb in tribal rhythms. Guitars sweep and build, then dip and hover. Keyboards chant and drone, occasionally supplemented by haunted, chanted vocals which are buried so deeply in the mix that they are all but unintelligible – a fact that makes their music that much more mysterious and gut-wrenching.

Ghost Box OrchestraI originally saw Ghost Box Orchestra simply as a nouveau-psychedelic band (which is always more than enough to intrigue me) but, upon spending some quality time with Vanished, I now see them for the stunning instrumentalists that they are – on par with the likes of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky.

Test out Vanished on GBO’s Bandcamp page, And at $8 to buy, it’s certain to be less expensive than the bong hits that should accompany your listening.

-George Dow