Review Summary: Though he showcases plenty of talent with Erra in the metal scene, it seems that the alt rock scene is RIGHT in Jesse Cash's wheelhouse.
Alabama is known for being home to the Crimson Tide, Forrest Gump, and now (oddly enough) one of the fastest growing metalcore acts around. Erra first came onto the scene in 2010 with a self-titled EP. One of, if not the most prominent features of the band were the soaring clean vocals of Jesse Cash, who was also the same guy shoveling out blazing leads simultaneously on the guitar. After Erra's sophomore release Augment, Cash grabbed fellow bandmates Alex Ballew and Sean Price and created the self-funded Ghost Atlas. In what was originally supposed to be a two part project, Gold Soul Coma was eventually just combined into one 8 song EP, and the results are pretty mind-blowing to say the least.
The opener "Elixir of Life" is groovy as hell, and is sure to turn some heads. The chorus features one of the catchiest hooks heard in recent memory and blazing riffs that are sure to get anyone moving along with the beat. The song is a bit of a teaser however, as none of the following songs have quite the tempo and energy that Elixir showcases. "Midnight Starlet" does come in a close second on the energy scale, as the chorus picks up the pace offering yet another memorable hook and allows Jesse to keep showing off his range. "Sacred Organs" offers a little bit of crunchier riffs that give it more of a darker feel, thus really adding some extra depth to the song. Though Cash's vocals are obviously the greatest highlight, they are not the only memorable part of the album. What makes Gold Soul Coma so dynamic is the structure of each song. "Skin Cult" is a perfect example, as it features soft riffs accompanied by the slow pounding of the drums, until culminating into an epic ending that features a little faster pace and instrumentation.
Though the more up tempo songs seem that they would be the more enjoyable tracks, it is actually the two acoustic tracks that were conveniently placed at what would have been the end of each EP had it been left in two parts. From the beginning, "Mood Ring" offers a more upbeat riff than what is expected of an acoustic song about estranged lovers. The quick yet simple chords during the chorus provide a perfect contrast to the complex vocal range. Although, the most impressive performance on Gold Soul Coma could not be in a better position. "Demons" is the eighth and final track, and it brings the curtain down with force. Accompanied by nothing but a piano, Jesse Cash sings with the pure emotion of heartache. Showing impressive range to go with a beautiful piano riff, Cash really blows the listener away straining with everything he has got to hit some ridiculous high notes that will send chills down the listener's spine.
It was no surprise that Cash's vocal performance was be the high point of Gold Soul Coma. Instead, it was the other elements such as song structure and lyricism that really pieced together an almost perfect masterpiece. Though the topics of love, loss, and women have been shared by just about everyone imaginable, it is in the way Ghost Atlas presented and put their own lyrical twists on them that makes them so memorable and distinguishable from their counterparts. Having never been out on his own before, Jesse Cash shows how much talent he truly has by creating Ghost Atlas and Gold Soul Coma. Though he showcases plenty of talent with Erra in the metal scene, it seems that the alt rock scene is RIGHT in Jesse Cash's wheelhouse.