The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside

Written by: PP on 23/12/2020 15:22:09

Melodic hardcore / metalcore kings The Ghost Inside are finally back after a six-year break since 2014's excellent "Dear Youth", though the break was certainly not of their own making. The band was involved in a tragic head-on collision with their tour bus in 2015 that resulted in the deaths of both drivers and critical injuries to several band members. With the lengthy hiatus as well as that incident as context, it is no wonder the band chose to open their self-titled album with bombastic "T...G...I! From the ashes, brought back to life" chants on "1333" followed by a signature-style, triumphant return on "Still Alive" that no doubt refers to the horrific bus crash in its lyricism.

Indeed, the classic lingering melodies atop chunky metalcore chugging and plenty of karate-friendly breakdowns are balanced to near-perfection via a crisp, clean production that leaves no detail hidden. And while it's no different than previous TGI output strictly stylistically speaking, it's still material that belongs near the top of the metalcore game.

For example, the massive anthemic choruses of tracks like "One Choice" and "Overexposure" highlight the brilliant contrast between the monstrously powerful growls and the infectiously catchy semi-cleans that often juxtapose each other. Here, the ambient atmospheres mix perfectly with the crushing riffs and testosterone-laden attitude to characterize what has since "Returners" been as signature-style TGI as it comes. Dramatic, almost theatrical chorus melodies draw in the crowds for huge sing-alongs, whereas tracks like "Begin Again" remind us that breakneck speed hardcore is still very much a part of their sound.

Still, it is very much the "Make Or Break" style tracks that dominate "The Ghost Inside" and for good reason: the clean vocal contrast to Jonathan Vigil's thick growls create a back-chilling effect that defines melodic hardcore as a genre to many. "Aftermath" - perhaps the best track on the record - is hauntingly beautiful in the same vein: glorious, dramatic chorus and killer guitar melodies combine with aggressive growls to underline why The Ghost Inside is considered one of the leaders in melodic hardcore.

Yet, as you traverse through the record, you start comparing it with previous work. It is good, but is it quite as great as "Get What You Give" or the aforementioned "Dear Youth" and "Returners"? It's close - certainly, the urgency and immediacy levels are still there, but perhaps it's a tad less consistent overall - tracks like "The Outcast", "Unseen" and "Phoenix Rise" are decent but quite anonymous in comparison to the best ones on the record. But such comparisons are almost pointless: self-titled might not be an outright classic but it is an excellent record nonetheless!

8

Download: Aftermath, Overexposure, One Choice, Make Or Break, Begin Again
For the fans of: For The Fallen Dreams, Texas In July, Counterparts, Stick To Your Guns
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.06.2020
Epitaph

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