Shadows Chasing Ghosts


Written by: TL on 16/12/2012 11:40:15

To be honest Shadows Chasing Ghosts is not a band that I've been following closely since I first heard them back in 2009, but what I've heard from them has always sounded like their sound was located somewhere in between The Blackout and Funeral For A Friend. Maybe it's because each of those bands have headed in distinctly separate directions, but listening to SCG's 2012 album "Lessons", the heavy side to their music has more punch now, and consequently the old comparisons don't seem to fit.

The formula the London quintet works with is still textbook metalcore though. Their verses mostly go for a dirty, groovy sound with screamed vocals leading the way, before the choruses see both guitars and vocals heading for more melodic territory. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it does not necessarily need to be, because "Lessons" is at least a pretty good production, on which you get the impression that Shadows Chasing Ghosts have reached a level where they have a firm grip of their genre and can deliver an interpretation of it that sounds personal enough for the listener to not confuse them with the next British metalcore outfit. As such, I think that comparisons to bands like Yashin and Bury Tomorrow are now more in order, although SCG are never quite as poppy as the former, nor as technical as the latter.

The character to the sound that I speak of here, comes from the interesting combination of the heavy parts that seem to have an almost southern tint to them - I keep thinking of old He Is Legend and the little Every Time I Die that I know when I hear them - and melodic parts which are lead by a clean vocal performance that sounds a bit like a less over the top Craig Mabbitt.

It has kept me coming back to the record with the feeling that there could be something here, but after a dozen listens I must admit that I can only get moderately excited about "Lessons". It works in the band's favour that they've manage to craft both smooth transitions when their heavy side gives way to their melodic one, and that they've managed to pen some semi-catchy choruses for songs like "Now Or Never", which you recognise on repeat listens, but somehow I still feel like the shifts tend to get in the way. A song like the late-album ballad "The Lighthouse" may be pretty simple but it is also instantly catchy to the point where it becomes one of the most memorable parts of the album, as does the following "Top Of The World" which brings a bit of the FFAF feeling back with the lead riff that races away underneath the refrain.

All things considered though, I think "Lessons" is a smooth, solid record which showcases both professionalism and personality and it should be a pretty reliable proposition for fans of lighter metalcore and post-hardcore, as Shadows Chasing Ghosts avoid the cringe worthy pitfalls that many contemporary bands fall into by the scores. I just still think they'd have bigger things in store, if they gave more attention to their melodic side, and to making their songs stand apart from each other just a little bit more.


Download: Now Or Never, The Lighthouse, Top Of The World, The Writer
For The Fans Of: Bury Tomorrow, Yashin, Blessthefall

Release Date 09.07.2012
Small Town Records

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