Label: Epitaph Records | ANTI- Records
Release Date: 05/06/20
For Fans Of: Parkway Drive, Stick To Your Guns, Architects
It’s been five years since The Ghost Inside went on hiatus and began intense rehabilitation following the tragic events taking place in 2015. On 19th November 2015, the band’s tour bus collided with a tractor-trailer outside of El Paso. The crash killed the drivers, Gregory Hoke and Steven Cunningham. Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk was airlifted to hospital, waking up from a coma 10 days later to find out he lost one of his legs. Guitarist Zach Johnson lost several toes and has had 13 operations (and counting) on his broken femur, while Vocalist Jonathan Vigil had to learn how to walk again after breaking both ankles.
Talk about conquering the odds – these guys picked up everything after their life-changing bus crash and have returned to their lives as a band stronger than ever. Their self-titled, fifth studio album is framed around their growth and identity as a brilliant testament of bravery and strength.
This is an album with a context more important that the music itself, however, The Ghost Inside don’t hesitate to bring back what they’re best at – an undeniably powerful mix of metal and hardcore, intertwined between guitar-based melodies and chunky metal-core riffs.
The album is kicked off by opener ‘1333’, where Vigil’s vocals powerfully depict their uphill battle in lyrics sung with a muted heaviness and sorrow, while Tkaczyk triumphantly kicks off a prevalent drum solo. Despite being less than a minute long, it sounds massive, showing how the band managed to pick it up and continue in full force from where they left off. This then bursts into the appropriately titled ‘Still Alive’, which holds nothing back as the high intensity of the track lets Zach Johnson‘s guitar shine in the spotlight of the opening with thrash-fuelled riffs. This instantly provides another example of how the band have chosen to stick to their guns, throwing it back to their last two records Dear Youth (2014) and Get What You Give (2012).
‘Unseen’ flows into the centrepieces of the album, shining in radient post-rock atmospherics alongside their characteristic gut-punching hardcore sound, while ‘One Choice‘ casts out rarely-heard clean vocals expertly delivered and paired with big guitar-focused riff melodies. A whole new meaning is given to hardcore’s typical concept of never giving up with album closer and lead single ‘Aftermath’. Crashing breakdowns and vital lyrics slam shut a painful chapter of the band’s past, providing them and their fans with sheer catharsis and optimism for the future.
While The Ghost Inside have always used narratives based in triumph over adversity, this time, they’re really grounding their music in intensely personal and painful perspectives, without letting the trauma define them.
Recommended tracks: ‘The Outcast’, ‘Unseen’, ‘Phoenix Rise’, ‘Aftermath’