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Music / Ghoul

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"We'll pickle your brains in a jelly jar!"

Ghoul is a very theatrical thrash/death metal band from Oakland, California. They are an Anonymous Band who claim to be four mutants hailing from the land of Creepsylvania, a country in Eastern Europe that lives up to every horror trope known to man. The band play old school style thrash metal with elements of death metal, grindcore, and occasionally surf rock and doom metal, and write about the land of Creepsylvania and their lives as ghouls, as they play heavy metal, mosh, and scare people. Over the course of their discography, they introduce a recurring cast of characters and even a sort of ongoing storyline, that gleefully embraces every horror and metal trope in the book and turns it up to eleven.

Several members of the band also perform in the group Impaled, with Sean and Ross in particular having sung and played their respective instruments on all albums (or in Ross's case, all but the first two Ghoul records) from both groups. They are fairly similar stylistically, with the main difference being their more straightforward Death Metal sound as opposed to Genre-Busting death/thrash. Ross also performs bass and vocals in Exhumed, having been a member during the making of their first album before leaving in 1999 and rejoining in 2016 after being brought in for the rerecording of Gore Metal a year prior.

The band members:

  • Cremator (Ross Sewage) - Vocals, bass
  • Digestor (Sean "Bloodbath" McGrath) - Vocals, guitar
  • Dissector (Peter Svoboda) - Vocals, guitar
  • Fermentor (Peijman Kouretchian) - Vocals, drums


  • We Came for the Dead!!! (2002)
  • Maniaxe (2003)
  • Splatterthrash (2006)
  • Transmission Zero (2011)
  • Intermediate Level Hardcore (EP) (2013)
  • Hang Ten (EP) (2014)
  • Dungeon Bastards (2016)

Ghoul provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of classic metal and horror tropes.
  • After the End: Their cover of "What a Wonderful World" is about this.
  • Album Intro Track: "Into the Catacombs" on Splatterthrash, "The Lunatic Hour" on Transmission Zero, "The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC" on Hang Ten, and "Ghetto Blasters" on Dungeon Bastards.
  • All Bikers are Hells Angels: The Cannibals MC, led by the monstrous Kreeg.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of additional information, including the history of Creepsylvania and the backstories of the various characters, can be found on the band's website.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: According to his Villain Song, the Basilisk is responsible for most of human history.
  • Anonymous Band: Sort of. They're intended to be secret, but we know that Cremator and Digestor also play in Impaled.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Crystal Skull. Among other things, it turns a nerd into the Gore Boar and is worshiped by a cult. Ghoul use it to crack open walnuts.
  • Ax-Crazy: The band themselves usually come across as this.
  • Back from the Dead: After being destroyed at the end of Maniaxe, Killbot is resurrected by a cult... using the brain of Walt Disney.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Combined with Album Title Drop; "We came here to conquer, we came here to rule, we came here to splatterthrash!"
    • Every single line in "Kreeg".
    "I bleed gasoline and I piss alcohol
    I got a cobra for a cock and some wrought iron balls
    I got your name tattooed and you better believe
    I'm gonna cross that sucker or my name ain't Kreeg"
  • Badass Crew: Ghoul themselves.
  • Big Bad: The Grand Basilisk for Transmission Zero, Commandant Dobrunkum for Dungeon Bastards.
  • Big Good: Baron Samedi from Splatterthrash onwards.
  • Black Comedy: Almost all of their lyrics.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The band engage in this all the time.
  • Concept Album: All of them, though Transmission Zero and Dungeon Bastards are the only ones with a continuous story to them.
  • Cover Album: Intermediate Level Hardcore features covers of various hardcore punk songs.
  • Cover Version: They've covered "Skull Beneath the Skin" by Megadeth, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, and numerous hardcore punk songs on the Intermediate Level Hardcore EP.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Their version of "What a Wonderful World" is about a nuclear holocaust.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: "The Mark of Voodoo" is this for Baron Samedi.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Hang Ten focuses on the Cannibals MC.
  • Death Metal: Of the death/thrash variety, to be exact.
  • Death Seeker: Cursed with immortality in his undeath, Baron Samedi only wants to die.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: According to "Roadkill", the Mutant Mutilator was killed and eaten by the band after his presence on the tour bus got annoying.
  • Dumb and Drummer: According to his bio on the official website, Fermentor has a single digit IQ.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The monstrous Abominox is one made out of sewage.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: The Mutant Mutilator's human name is Billy Spungbein.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Into the Catacombs" on Splatterthrash and "The Lunatic Hour" on Transmission Zero.
  • Epic Rocking: "Morning of the Mezmetron" is 8 minutes long.
  • Evil Gloating: Commandant Dobrunkum really enjoys this. "Word Is Law" is almost nothing but this.
    "Flee from my legions, pitiful fools!
    There is nowhere to hide now! This is the end of Ghoul!"
  • Evil Is Hammy: Dobrunkum, who's essentially a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
  • Evil Overlord: Commandant Dobrunkum on Dungeon Bastards.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The band defeat many other villains in the course of their antics.
  • French Jerk: Cremator (the character, not the actual band member) is from France, and is sung with a somewhat exaggerated French accent.
  • Gargle Blaster: "Rot gut", the national beverage of Creepsylvania.
  • Genre-Busting: They mix death metal, thrash metal, goregrind, surf rock, and punk rock into a package that is very accessible yet defies easy classification.
  • Genre Shift: "The End?" and "Psychoplasm" are instrumental surf rock.
  • Gorn: Only natural for a death metal band. Almost every song has Ghoul slaughter someone in an immensely ridiculous fashion.
  • Harsh Vocals: They mostly use Carcass-type death growls, though clean vocals show up every now and then.
  • Heavy Meta: Lots of songs are about how the band plays true metal and kills posers.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Ghoul Hunter, though he doesn't really do much.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ghoul love eating people, and in "Blood Feast" they go on a drug fueled rampage through Creepsylvania and devour its hapless citizens.
  • Instrumentals: "The End?", "Into the Catacombs", "Psychoplasm", "The Lunatic Hour", all of Hang Ten except for "Kreeg", and "Guitarmageddon" (unless you count movie samples as vocals).
  • Kayfabe Music: Along with GWAR (who they have toured with), one of the leading examples in metal today.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: The band all have burlap sacks on their heads.
  • Mushroom Samba: "Brain Jerk" is about the band getting high on Baron Samedi's tsombi powder and having cosmic hallucinations.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Commandant Dobrunkum.
  • Number of the Beast: Baron Samedi was born in the year 1666.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: They appear to be of the Mutant Ghoul type.
  • Protest Song: "Life of the Living Dead" and "Wall of Death".
  • Red Shirt Army: "Ghoulunatics" is about this.
    An army of losers, the worst of the worst
    They'll march to our orders, and buy all our merch"
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "Mutant Mutilator" has a nerd who gets bullied every day make contact with the Crystal Skull and mutate into the Gore Boar, after which he exacts bloody retribution on his tormentors.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Killbot, of course.
  • Self-Deprecation: The band portray themselves as being incredibly stupid in their lyrics.
  • Something Blues: "Gutbucket Blues".
  • Spoken Word in Music: Typically done with movie samples, though they sometimes include voice acting for the characters in the song as well. "Ghoul Hunter" in particular makes heavy use of this, being an extended monologue from the title character.
  • Take That!: "Pleasant Screams/Forbidden Crypts" is about Ghoul slaughtering a stereotypical Norwegian black metal band.
    • The Mutant Mutilator's bio on the website explicitly mentions that he will kill you if you listen to Cradle of Filth.
    • "Numbskull" mentions the band destroying merch for Unique Leader Records, a tech death/djent label.
  • Thrash Metal: Their primary genre.
  • Überwald: Creepsylvania takes this to ridiculous extremes. Among other things, it's a military dictatorship that regularly gets terrorized by monsters and is enclosed by a giant cemetery.
  • The Unintelligible: Fermentor's vocals are a barely intelligible gurgle.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ghoul are a bunch of mutant cannibals who kill people for fun.
  • Villain Song: "Morning of the Mezmetron" for the Basilisk, "Word Is Law" and part of "Bringer of War" for Dobrunkum, "Kreeg" for Kreeg.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Digestor and Cremator handle most of the vocals, with occasional vocals from Fermentor or gang shouts thrown in.
  • Wicked Witch: The swamp witch, who lives in a shack in the bog and breeds giant maggots.
  • Witch Doctor: Baron Samedi of course.
  • The Worf Effect: Several songs have Ghoul getting their asses kicked, though they always manage to bounce back.
    • Kreeg gets beheaded by Dobrunkum in Dungeon Bastards, but is kept alive to order the Cannibals around. Ghoul then kill him and use the remaining Cannibals as Red Shirts.