The Ghost Inside
Returners


3.0
good

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
June 7th, 2010 | 456 replies | 41,754 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A return for the fans

At least The Ghost Inside didn’t tag Returners early on with this trite "faster, heavier, more melodic" garbage, right? You know, the kind of advertisement bands use to build up their next releases that’s really just as generic in what it promises as the stingy critics complain that this whole whirlpool of core-to-the-floor brothers and all sub-genre is. Nope, The Ghost Inside instead promised to release another melodic metalcore-esque album for the fans - and you know what? Good for them. Commendable. Unpretentious. All but predicting for us a sound that was almost predictable to begin with, if you know what I mean. As long as you didn’t hear, or at least weren’t swayed by, the loads of hype breaking-down all around Returners, you shouldn’t be disappointed. In fact, you could just boot up The Ghost Inside’s first outing, Fury And The Fallen Ones, to get a good sonic picture of what Returners might sound like if their debut had instead been recorded with the experience of two years of touring under the band’s belts. The imagined album and the real product would practically mirror each other.

So no surprises, right? Pretty much, barring that higher degree of experience variable that’s now factored into Returners’ equation. This is the kind of melodic metalcore/hardcore that fans of the infamous sub-genre will love and the skeptics will hate, quickly offering it no more than a sigh of resignation: a sort of friendly bump in the grand scheme of Shai Hulud, easily avoided or just hit on purpose for an exhilarating, catchy jump of el core. Jonathan Vigil has always been the ideal frontman for this type of thing, the kind of guy able to stay pungent and non-monotonous in his vocal delivery, despite the fact that he never really varies his tone over the course of Returners; but as it turns out, however, you’ll find that you never really notice that he’s cautious with varying his voice until you look harder into it. That’s the real strength of Vigil: he sounds just as breakneck and furious when he enters us into Returners with a suffocated, “All the wrath and all the faith I have inside is eating me alive!,” as he does when he concludes the album over dramatic melodic guitar lines in “Truth And Temper”: “I am no king / A hollow man in a world of thieves!"

The Ghost Inside probably wouldn’t be getting very far without the vocal work of Vigil, that’s a given at this point in their career, but they’d certainly be a lost cause if the rest of the Los Angeles group wasn’t playing at least par-worthy material. No need to worry there, though; the band are certainly competent if wholly middle of the road-sounding in their instrumental performance, but this is the point in the band’s equation on Returners, and certainly on Fury And The Fallen Ones as well, that distinguishes the would-be man from the boy, the could-be great album from just the good album. Zach Johnson and Aaron Brooks are still missing the vital cues when it comes to the precise implementation of their guitar breakdowns, sadly, as such trip-up chug-halters as those on the otherwise anthem-like “Chrono” and the plea for a life’s worth of dreams being lost in “Through The Cracks” halt any of the momentum the band had going for themselves in each song. It’s the kind of jarring behavior that gives this type of metalcore a bad name, it seems; throw in the fact that well over half of Returners’ songs suffer from such a detouring of chop, chop, chugging, and you definitely have a problem.

According to Vigil, Returners is supposedly named after the reaction the band had when returning back to their homes after months of touring and seeing the changes such places had undergone in their absence. Conversely, it can also be used to identify the band’s choice of direction for this sophomore follow up: it’s more of the same that was first heard on Fury And The Fallen Ones. Getting down to it, though, isn’t this what the fans wanted The Ghost Inside to offer them in the first place? And on the other hand, isn’t this exactly what the skeptics didn’t want them to do as well? The Ghost Inside certainly know who they are playing for, and Returners is easy evidence of that: the fans. It may be more melodic, slightly darker-tinged lyrically, and still suffering with the majority of melodic metalcore/hardcore’s fallings – minus an annoying vocalist – but in the end, it’s still an easy-to-trace shot straight back to where they were two years ago:

So no surprises, right? Pretty much.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



5785 Comments


Available for purchace via import in Japan, Australia and others

Solid stuff

Inveigh
June 7th 2010



24863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

another excellent review Observer, I expect this will get a feature.

also, I agree with your sentiment on this album.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

eh.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

buckfutter
June 7th 2010



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is just, well, meh

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2010



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review. Albums good but very overhyped.

Ponton
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



5785 Comments


Thanks inveigh and ali, though I guess a lot more positive, or negative, reviews will pop up soon. I also expect some fans to get angry with mine too

Ponton
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



5785 Comments


Appreciated MJ, have been taking extra special care to pick out and remove any little errors that I can.

I kind of thought streetlight might give this a 2 or 2.5 though. He seems to dislike it more than I do.

Buccaneer
June 7th 2010



692 Comments


I was surprised to see this in the Popular Album section, and it's unusualy high rating. I've listened to Fury and the Fallen Ones and it was just your solid, but generic metalcore.

Good review dude, dont know if i should check this out or not

BallsToTheWall
June 7th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If any album influences me to gauge my ears in the future it would be this one.

robin
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



4247 Comments


nice work jared, never heard of band before.

album art is just the worst tho

cvlts
June 7th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

was halfway finished writing a review for this but you took the words right outta me haha.

good review and i agree. dont understand the hype and praise heaped onto these guys.

edit: this aint 'melodic hardcore' though.

Ponton
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



5785 Comments


Thanks.

The places I read about the band mixed and matched the tags melodic, hardcore, and metalcore frequently, but I'll switch my words around in there to avoid confusion. The band sounds to me like they could fit in a number of places personally

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2010



31047 Comments


Album's very meh

Review isn't though

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

Foxhound
June 7th 2010



4570 Comments


observer's got some skillz. pos

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Heh, Observer, I'm mostly raging against the hype, I can still appreciate these guys are okay, but I was a little taken aback by the overflow of scene praise that sorta wormed itself out from the depths. I'm more annoyed shit like this gets so much praise when albums like Love Let Me Go are out there.

Nikkolae
June 7th 2010



4820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i read somewhere that Mat Brusso was doing vocals on this, guess i miss read it, chrono is a mighty fineee tune js

Digging: Clipping - CLPPNG

Inveigh
June 7th 2010



24863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I listened to this a bit on my way home again today, I might actually have to lower the rating.

is it just the rip I have or does it seem like half the album was recorded through a flanger?

edit: yeah, had to lower to 2.5

Ponton
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



5785 Comments


i read somewhere that Mat Brusso was doing vocals on this


He does guest vocals on "Chrono"

I'm mostly raging against the hype


Definitely understand that. I kind of feel the same way about the reaction to this album that Periphery got earlier this year as well. Both are pretty good, just not too big on the hype around them I suppose.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 7th 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

M, that Periphery album is bland as fuck too.

pavygravy
June 7th 2010



117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

one of the best up and coming hardcore acts !



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