The fantastic Whispers in the Shadow’ eleventh album. Once again, of course, with Solar Lodge, one of the most active labels lately, specially, in regards to gothic rock. Even with Ghosts transcending widely the canonic goth, going deep into the stormy waters they were going around in other albums. In this album Ashley Dayour and his mates submerge completely. And what’s more important, they survive (it’s really an understatement) the possible drowning and make an album that’s truly awesome. Possibly one of the albums of the year and probably the best of their career. Without a doubt the most complete.


By Werner Nowak

By Werner Nowak

We took the opportunity to interview Mr. Ashley Dayour and talked at greath length about the album (Audio):


  • So pleased to finally talk to you again and grateful for granting us this interview. Seriously, thank you. Let’s go with the questions. 
  • You are most welcome. Always a pleasure.


  • Three years after Yesterday is Forever (although the indispensable Gilding The Lily – A Retrospective 1996 – 2021 was released in between), you publish Ghosts. In a time where physical cds are almost outcasted, why publishing an actual cd instead of joining the trend of releasing a few spare songs in streaming platforms? (Asking out of admiration, as you know, I adore cds and I really appreciate you still believing in them). 
  • Well I’m also a bit old fashioned in that regard. I like to have the real thing in my hands, watch the booklet, read the lyrics etc. Of course, the album is also released on all digital platforms including Bandcamp, but as long as there is an actual demand for CDs we will give people the chance to get them. To be honest of course there was a time the demand for physical releases was bigger, but it’s still fine. Needless to say, if you want to support a band you better go for the physical release or a shirt because streaming won’t pay the rent. But I guess that’s not exactly news to anyone.


  • Ghosts is a great album, relatively far from what your last albums sounded like but at the same time tremendously recognizable from Totems of Decline’s first beats?. As you yourselves say, Expect the familiar unexpected. What’s taken you to this “new” sound?
  • We are doing this for quite some time now, but we are still eager to develop further, to add new things to our sound and to keep exploring new grounds. Pretty much from the beginning we wanted to write the heaviest album of our history. Why? I have no idea. It sounded like an interesting thing to do, to down tune the guitars and turn up the distortion guitar pedals. It wasn’t an easy album to write and took quite some while, at least by our standards. But I think GHOSTS is one of our better records, certainly one of our most interesting.


  • 27 active years, releasing a handful of albums and you could almost say that no two of them are alike, which I consider is something really unusual that deserves recognition.
  • Thank you, yeah GHOSTS is our 11th album. As a matter of fact, that’s surprising even for me. We at least try to keep it interesting, also for ourselves. Even if I wanted I couldn’t create the same album over and over again. What’s the point in that? I pretty much come from the school of artists such as David Bowie. Bowies thirst for re-invention had the biggest influence on me.
By Werner Nowak

By Werner Nowak


  • It seems to me that in your last pieces you had “modernized” a little the sound of your previous albums, expanding your influences and covering a wider framework, almost redefining what gothic rock or the dark sounds in general are or should be. In Ghosts you give the screw one more turn, enhardening the guitars and adding keys and less present arrangements, at least in appearance. New influences, simply natural evolution or something else?
  • Thanks again. Yes, I think the last album YESTERDAY IS FOREVER was sort of a showcase of what could be done with Gothic Rock. The album was all over the place in terms of atmosphere, sound and songs. A true kaleidoscope, which was the idea. GHOSTS however is more focused on a particular mood, a particular atmosphere. A certain heaviness is present in all tracks, even in the quieter ones. In a way it merges doom metal with dark wave. Also, it matches perfectly to the actual themes of the songs. Which I will talk in detail later.


  • I’d like to know if it’s possible for you to tell us some evaluation on the different songs in the album, about the compositional process or what you’ve wanted to express with them.
  • Sure, let’s go.


  • Totems Of Decline
  • Was actually written as the opening track of the album. I wanted a heavy but also cinematic opening for the album, but also keep it a bit vague and out there and hard to grasp so to speak. It’s also going to be our opening song for the live shows


  • Sacred Fear
  • Definitely one of the key songs of the album. Like a lava maelstrom. Thematical wise it deals with fear and paranoia, and what happens if one gets a bit too comfortable with these demons. If you use them as an excuse not to go further and instead find comfort in being the victim.


  • Revenants
  • Actually the only real up-beat song on the album. It might be in the same league as some of our classics such as Lost Souls or Lightbringer but way heavier. It’s about the unhealthy obsession with our past. A theme I seem to come back to time and time again.


  • A Haunting
  • We made a video for this one. And I’m very happy how it all turned out. Was a pleasure working with director Edie Calie and camera man Andreas Horvath. The song deals with addictions of all sorts and is partly sung from the perspective of the drug itself. Almost like a dialogue between the protagonist and the drug.

  • Harpies
  • In a nutshell. It’s a feminist Goth Rock song. I might be right when stating there aren’t a lot of feminist Goth Rock songs out there. So, it was about time.


  • Ghost Loop Remedy
  • The final version is very different than the original version, it’s more like a remix. We completely deconstructed the original idea. It’s one of my personal favourites on the album.
    It’s about what happens if you’re stuck in a bad trip loop, so to speak. Not necessarily drug induced. You don’t need substance abuse to get caught in a Ghost Loop.


  • Poltergeist
  • This one seems to become a fan favourite. To my very surprise I might add.
    It’s a very atmospheric track and in a weird way it’s a happy ending of sorts.
    It also changed a lot from the actual demo version. I think it’s the perfect closer for this album.
By Werner Nowak

By Werner Nowak


  • I’m leaving Majesty & Torment for last as its simply amazing. Almost 13 minutes of extremely dark intensity, variations that make it seem like a few songs all in one. Since the first time I listened to the cd, it became my favorite. Congratulations on it (and on the rest of the album, which doesn’t lag far behind). Which song would you say it’s your favorite in the album?
  • Yeah, Majesty & Torment is a special one, it’s pretty progressive and we call it «The Opera» for a reason. It wasn’t really planned that way. The song just happened and grew into the monster that it is now. It took a long time to complete but I’m very happy with this one. It surely is the centrepiece of the album and definitely one of a kind in our discography.Not sure which ones my favourite thoughI really like Majesty & Torment, but is it my favourite? I don’t know. That’s something time will tell. However, I’m pretty sure A Haunting is the song that will remain from this record.


  • You’ve always really paid attention to detail when it comes to the writing. In regards to Ghosts, is there any conducting thread in between all of them or are they independent from each other? It could seem like the title of the album was that thread, at least in a symbolic way, but I don’t really know if I’m in the right path.
  • Thematically, «Ghosts» is a journey into the Abyss, a trip through human and inhuman abysses. A communion with shadows and spirits. Both social and personal. Demons such as addiction («A Haunting»), paranoia («Ghost Loop Remedy»), self-righteous ignorance («Totems Of Decline») and chauvinism («Harpies») are summoned.
  • At the end there is the journey into and through the Abyss («Majesty & Torment»), the confrontation with fear of fear and finally the realization that the ghosts are a part of oneself («Poltergeist»), one’s own ego, which has to be destroyed in order to overcome it all.


  • Billyphobia has once again been in charge of the artwork, and once more, he has done an amazing job. They’ve also have managed to express on the cover what the album on the inside reflects, just as they did last time, so that it isn’t just a pretty design. What’s your opinion in this? 
  • As a starting point he used a technique called automatic drawing where he just started to draw while listening to the actual songs, letting the sound guide his hand, so to speak. It’s a technique used by people such as Wiliam Burroughs or the grandfather of chaos magic himself, Mr. Austin Osman Spare. It really reflects the mood and atmosphere of the album. I consider it one of our best artworks and I’m really thankful to Billy for creating this beautiful artwork for us. It’s been great working with him.


  • Appart from WitS and The Devil & the Universe and once your contribution in Near Earth Orbit is done, you’re involved on the project Alphavox, which gathers a great number of artists related in one way or another with the Solar Lodge’s label. Can you spill the tea on if this project is going to live on or if on the contrary it begins and ends all with the album you released last spring?
  • Regarding Near Earth Orbit, yeah, I did contribute everything I wanted to, and 3 fully working / touring bands are a bit much anyway, especially with The Devil & The Universe growing bigger. So, we decided it was time to close that chapter. But no bad blood spilled here. All is good. The whole Alphavox thing was Artaud’s idea and it was pretty astonishing that the album became such a focused and coherent thing despite the contributions of so many musicians.  It was really great fun working with new people. Not sure if there will be another album or if I will be part of it. But of course, I would be in if asked and time allows it. As far as I know there are no live shows planned at the moment, would be pretty complicated to pull that off with so many musicians involved though.


  • Thanks for everything. Last words, are as always for you.
  • Thanks for the ongoing support. Always a pleasure.
    Let’s get haunted


By Werner Nowak

By Werner Nowak

In regards to my opinion, although it’s the least of, as I said at the beginning and pointed out in some of the questions, Ghosts is a magnific album. The hardening of the guitars gives the songs an especial appearance so that the lyrical development such as the quality of the compositions shine on their own in each of the tracks. The atmosphere and the guitars (even though this are common theme) of Totem of Decline. The dark and epic power, accentuated with the filtered and reverberated voice (another general keynote) in Sacred Fear. The absolute wonder that is Revenants, which condenses in a little more than three minutes all that must be to be a gothic hit. Despite the diabolic riffs or precisely because of them. The phantasmal keys in A Haunting, beautiful. The up-beat rhythm and the low pluck in Harpies. The dark mid-tempo in Ghost Loop Remedy, that plays, once again, with the disturbing atmospheres. Of course, Majesty & Torment, which is, as I said before, simply amazing. Its progressive development and its capacity to submerge you in its world of whispers and shadows. And the closing, Poltergeist, which could perfectly not be it, given the how depth and evoking the instruments are. A tremendous album, a precious masterpiece. From the artwork itself to the last beat. I said before that in my opinion it’s the best thing they’ve done (and they have awesome albums) and I’m reaffirmed every time I give it a listen.