Review : The Ghost Inside - Get What You Give
PopmattersI’ve isolated a great deal of metal fans with that opening sentence, but the current state of affairs in the genre is such that a pause for evaluation is necessary. Paradigm shifts within certain sub-genres of metal—black metal being the most obvious example—have brought about so many frenzied discussions that in our highfalutin theorizing (see: Liturgy) fans of popular subgenres like metalcore have begun to feel oddly threatened by the melding and molding that, to many, has made metal better. A microcosm of this conflict can be seen in a humorous way via the MSN Metal website, where PopMatters contributing editor Adrien Begrand writes. On the comment section for his best-of-the-year roundup, one particularly irate voice chimed:
WOW this is a terrible list. Not just a Complete lack of power metal but metalcore and deathcore. death to hipster metal! Luckily the whole world knows this isn’t what represents metal outside the blogosphere. There’s a reason this crap doesn’t sell. Well mr blogger what represents the best metal is WHAT SELLS.
Pushing aside the egregious fallacy driving his anger (“What sells = What’s good”), his words highlight something important. On paper, the union of metal and hardcore doesn’t necessarily lend itself to generic, over-producedness; it just seems to happen that way. Metalcore bands around the world (and by world I mean mostly the United States) continue to give their fans the things they like the most: contrasted clean and growled vocals, imposing band names (see: Killswitch Engage), and, of course, a breakdown in (most) every song. Everyone has their own taste, and it’s of course not wrong to like metalcore. But amongst the major metal critics, the genre is seen as lacking innovation, or if you’re lazy about it, “too mainstream”. In some ways they’re right; if any variant of metal has been “Christianised”, metalcore would be it; big names like Demon Hunter, The Devil Wears Prada, and Underoath all openly affiliate with that religious label. Much like metalcore, Christian music doesn’t have to be bad; it just kind of happens that it is. (Demon Hunter, for instance, began promisingly, but ever since 2005’s The Triptych their sonic has become increasingly monochromatic.) Christian music’s tendency to not push too many dangerous buttons has now bled into metalcore, resulting in albums that satisfy for a minute but not much longer. Conversely, fans of metalcore, such as the commenter quoted above, see the critics who back the most obscure or genre-melding metal bands as near betrayers of the craft, capitulating to the weirdest possible excesses. One of the critical darlings of 2012 is Panopticon’s Kentucky, a daring merger of black metal and Americana, doesn’t comfortably fit on the shelf between As Daylight Dies and They’re Only Chasing Safety....full text
AbsolutepunkLife is full of disappointments: Pittsburgh being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, The Mariners continuing to lose game after game, Greg Oden never living up to his potential, etc. I could go on and on about things that have been a total letdown.
Luckily, my most anticipated album of the year hasn’t let me down. Get What You Give, the band’s third full-length album, met all my high expectations all across the board. It’s definitely one of the best heavy albums of 2012; saying this album is electrifying would be a massive understatement.
When I spoke to lead vocalist Jonathan Vigil last August in Portland, OR, he had this to say about the lyrical aspect of the album:
“My brother actually passed away a year ago, two days before today. Up until that point, I wasn’t focused on things in life that really mattered; I had so much focus in the band and just music, and I neglected alot of things around me. When my brother passed, it shocked me into realizing that there’s more to life than what I have in front of me. A huge part of the album is going to be about that, and big about what’s really important and the things that I neglected.”
The opening track, “This Is What I Know About Sacrifice” packs a punch right away, as Vigil bursts right out of the gate, bellowing “This is what I know about sacrifice, meet me at the crossroads, lets go!” before the band drops into a massive breakdown. The intensity presented in this opening track gives an accurate gauge of how intense the rest of the album is....full text
SputnikmusicMuch like the cold, towering mountain reaching towards the sky on the cover of this album, The Ghost Inside have been on an upward climb over the past few years. While their debut didn't show much to set them apart from other metalcore acts, something changed with 2010's Returners. There was something new in their sound, something that added a much needed variation to the formula of metalcore they were playing. Fast forward two years and add a new member whose talents only further spearhead this climb, and you have their new effort Get What You Give.
When the album starts, it is rather decieving to the listener. "This Is What I Know About Sacrifice" opens the album similar to how Returners started out, except instead of being an instrumental it serves as a brief introduction full of breakdowns and leads into "Outlive", where the album really kicks off. Frontman Jonathan Vigil tears through the microphone as the band follow suit with crushing riffs and former For The Fallen Dreams drummer Andrew Tkaczyk only further heightens the intensity of the music as the bands new drummer. Being the primary songwriter for his former band and one of the most talented drummers in modern metalcore he capitalizes on the bands newfound melodic sound with another stellar drum performance on this album.
Apart from the further progression of the melodic aspect of their sound, Get What You Give also introduces clean vocals to the bands formula. Used sparingly and tastefully done, they don't bring the songs down at all and make them even more enjoyable. "Engine 45" and "Dark Horse" both feature excellent clean vocal sections with the former ending the song with an extreme sense of melody without sacrificing how intense it was building up to be and the latter featuring arguably the best chorus on the album. The addition of clean vocals changes things up from Vigil's screaming and saves the album from falling into the problem that Returners had with too much sounding the same. This aspect is where Get What You Give is very successful, in the fact that the band stepped out of their comfort zone this time around and improved their formula on all fronts....full text
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