The Amity Affliction

Chasing Ghosts

Written by: PP on 02/01/2013 22:34:14

Aussie band The Amity Affliction has been well-known to the scene kids for a couple of years now, but it is with their third album "Chasing Ghosts" that they are going to explode into the knowledge of Europe and North America at large. It's as stereotypical post-hardcore as it comes with literally every element referencing one or another huge band from particularly the UnderOATH reign of screamo-laden post-hardcore during the mid 2000s, but their strength is that it's all executed to near-perfection. You'll have heard this album perhaps a dozen times in 2012 alone, but yet The Amity Affliction woo and charm their critics successfully because despite being extremely formulaic, each individual element on the album is rather convincing and in good interplay with the others.

Lets start with the polished screaming. The thick and widening style should instantly remind you of Spencer Chamberlain of UnderOATH fame, but it's technically astounding and adds a layer of depth to the album that few screamers are able. His counterpart is a smooth-sailing clean vocalist whose anthemic moments might not be as brilliant as Dallas Green or Anthony Green, but by god is he catchy and spot on in his particular octave. "Open Letter", for example, has a sugar sweet chorus so catchy it's impossible not to sing along even as you acknowledge the saturated nature of the post-hardcore scene in general. Together, the two have a strong dynamic in the classic clean/scream manner, but also in the call/response way where they are almost battling against each other with alternating lines doing a good job in creating contrast.

There's a subtle electronic backdrop as there is to every modern post-hardcore release these days, but it's tastefully providing some backing ambience instead of shoved in your face unnecessarily. This is good, because it allows more room for the vocal interplay to do its magic, because let's be honest here, it's not the instrumentation that makes The Amity Affliction an interesting band.

Newer fans to the post-hardcore genre will flock to this release because it's an example of the genre played just right. Older fans like myself will find it a nice nostalgic reminder of how the genre was before it was saturated, but will have some difficulty in accepting its formulaic nature in the end, but will grudgingly do so anyway.

Download: Chasing Ghosts, R.I.P. Bon, Open Letter
For the fans of: UnderOATH, Of Mice & Men
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.10.2012
Roadrunner Records

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