Ghost Brigade
Until Fear No Longer Defines Us


4.0
excellent

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
September 21st, 2011 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ghost Brigade have truly come into their own on their third full-length effort

Guided By Fire showed potential, Isolation Songs thrived on that potential, and Until Fear No Longer Defines Us capitalizes on said potential. Finland’s Ghost Brigade, one of the newer names in the dark metal genre, have already managed to create some buzz, and their recent effort proves them to be worthy of hype. Until Fear No Longer Defines Us sees the band further cementing their own sound which they started to fully develop with 2009’s Isolation Songs. The band still has a few minor kinks to flesh out, but on this new effort, those firmly take the back seat to what is a captivating overall sound.

Ghost Brigade's music is so familiar, yet no one does it quite like them. There is an equal amount of Neurosis, Swallow The Sun and Katatonia in there, yet they sound strictly Ghost Brigade on Until Fear No Longer Defines Us. This is near peculiar, when delving deeper into the music, because Ghost Brigade’s song structures aren’t anything out of this world, nor do they experiment a great deal. Their brand of dark metal just plain clicks, encompassing well-working features such as sludgy, Cult of Luna-esque thick riffing sections, Swallow The Sun-like melodeath/doom passages, and the use of harsh/clean vocal dynamic (with the emphasis being on the latter of the two). When the end product is this smooth as a whole, it is hard to criticize the band for not experimenting with their sound more. As the saying goes, beauty lies in simplicity, and that is exactly the case here too: by build-up, Until Fear No Longer Defines Us is simply a coherent record, but what works miracles in this case is the superb amalgamation of melodic guitar chords coupled with an atmosphere that is both ascending and gloomy. This results in an album that flows along seamlessly, and is a great companion for those upcoming, somber autumn nights.

About the aspects that could be improved upon, for one, the lyricism needs to be upped. Not only does Manne Ikonen completely ignore the phenomenon known as a rhyme, the lyrical lines themselves seem to be forced (at times). Take the closer "Soulcarvers" for example: the lyrical content itself isn’t bad, the mysterious, dark tone of them fits the music nicely, but the words sung are so awkwardly pronounced and stretched (aftermath of haphazard writing) that it takes a lot away from their effectiveness, especially in the chorus, which is supposed to be the culmination point. This is a recurring theme throughout the album, too, and since the lyrics are so comprehensible, it becomes a bit of an annoyance in the long run. Another thing that the band needs to do is bring back the harsh vocals in the quantity they were in before Until Fear No Longer Defines Us. On Isolation Songs, there was a perfect balance between the two styles, with the cleanly sung passages complementing the vocalist’s harsh style nicely. On this record though, the growly parts are toned down, the clean vox dominate, and even when the harsh style finally kicks in, there still isn’t enough of it to produce an effective counter-balance.

Enough with the negatives though, as the pros of this record far outweigh the cons. When it comes to overall development and execution, Ghost Brigade are progressing along nicely and getting better with each record they put out. Until Fear No Longer Defines Us is an exercise in consistently great melodic dark metal, and not only has the band placed its foot firmly on the map, Ghost Brigade have also made themselves recognizable. After this album, they won’t be addressed as "that pretty decent up-and-coming dark metal band" anymore, no, they will be known as Ghost Brigade, the great Finnish metal band. They definitely have room for improvement still, but it doesn't take anything away from Until Fear No Longer Defines Us.



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user ratings (146)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
September 21st 2011


12571 Comments


Man you're reviewing like once a month haha. I pos!

KronosRage
September 21st 2011


367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I agree with the review

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Pizza
But at least I'm still reviewing! I've been experiencing quite the writer's block recently. I try to get it together though at least, like you said, once a month to put something out.

pizzamachine
September 21st 2011


12571 Comments


Ahh that's too bad, once a month is understandable in that case. :/

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Autumn does bring a lot of promising releases though, so who knows, maybe I will get my mojo back when I hear a couple of spectacular albums that urge me to write about them.

pizzamachine
September 21st 2011


12571 Comments


Yeah it's been an amazing year for music, no doubt that'll happen.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It has also been a year during which I've been slacking, even more so than usual haha.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


7428 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well. This isn't as good as the new Textures album imo. I found this overly familiar. It didn't grab me.

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

Alucard125
September 21st 2011


537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, glad to finally see one for the album. Taking me a long time to digest it, but it's really good. Perhaps not quite as good as Isolation Songs though.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also try to pin down your descriptions more accurately, to a specific aspect that makes them like said band or whatever.
Wouldn't I just fragment my review even more if I'd go into great specifics when making comparisons to other bands ;)? Anyway, sure, I'll look this over again when I get back (going away for a few hours atm).

bloc
September 21st 2011


34993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah excellent, this reminds me I must listen to this.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

God damn I love the album art. Gonna have to check this out, sounds like something I'd enjoy.

Neurosis, Swallow The Sun and Katatonia

Sold.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

OK I made a few fixes before leaving, tell me what you think, Thomas. I'll read your input when I get back.

Eskate87
September 21st 2011


959 Comments


i listened to a few songs off of this on youtube a few weeks ago and really liked what i heard. will give a full listen soon hopefully.

nice review, btw.

Tyrael
September 21st 2011


20945 Comments


Great review

Looks nice, think I'd enjoy this?

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree, Kyle, that cover looks awesome and I hope you enjoy the album man!

Tyraelxy and Eskate87, you'd both like this a lot

Pyosisified - bringing down the mood since, well, whenever your main got banned because I refuse to believe you only got here in 2010 or something.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree, Kyle, that cover looks awesome and I hope you enjoy the album man!

Getting it now, hoping to be impressed!

Apollo
September 21st 2011


10361 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wow this is incredible...arrived at the perfect time too

great review dude

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2011


7122 Comments


First paragraph created some interest, youtubing now...

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2011


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys and I hope you will be, Kyle!



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