The German goth rock act The House Of Usher, were founded in 1990 by Jörg Kleudgen (the only permanent member) and Markus Pick. After thirty years of uninterrupted creative work, they are like a good old port wine that unfolds its full maturity on the eleventh album "Holyghost" and shows the band in a consistent further development. The album was released digitally on December 15, 2020 and the CD edition will follow.

 A total of fourteen songs consist the tracklist of this album, with its main focus on aging and loss. Many of which cannot deny their origins in the Wave of the 1980s. The hymnic instrumental "Lights Go Out" opens the album, followed by "Let It All Be Mine" that really kicks in and sets the pace and then fades out into a piano piece at the end. Next is "Summer Rain", a track that definitely has associations with old Fields Of the Nephilim and from what we read on their social media, a video production for it is on its way. It is followed by "Can You Tell Me?" an emotional gothic rock track with Jörg’s expressive vocal in great form. On "When Dreams Come True" we have a change in mood. A more melodic pop rock and atmospheric ballad of sorts in true 80’s style. Next is "Now Or Never", that’s starts with more electronic elements, then transforms into a classic Wave track with some very sensual backing vocals by Rafunzel. The acoustic guitars come out on "Meadow", while on "Footsteps In The Snow" the band convinces once again with catchy melodies and beautiful guitars that are rarely heard today. In the same vein we have "Beside You", "Invisible", "God And All Of His Angels" that features bass and additional guitars by Barry Galvin and "View From The Hills". The album ends effortlessly with one of the best songs "With The Eyes Of A Stranger" and ending in the best of ways with the lengthy "Rocket To The Moon".

 The current line-up with singer Jörg Kleudgen, guitarists Markus Pick and Georg Berger, as well as Ralf Dunkel on bass and Gerwin Spalink on drums are reinforced a plethora of guest musicians such as Barry Galvin (ex-Christian Death, Mephisto Walz), Tom O'Connell (ex- Garden Of Delight, All Hallows Eve), Ingo Klemens (The Escape), Boris Brosowski (Cream VIII), Oliver Pietsch (Violet), Keule (Reptyle) and Dominic Daub (Qek Junior). The album was mixed and produced by Jörg Kleudgen. All lyrics are from Jörg Kleudgen, with additional lyrics on "Let It All Be Mine" by Boris Brosowski. The great well-matched artwork was also done by Jörg Kleudgen.


Review by Nick Drivas