I Am Ghost is one of the bands that had gained a large following even before their debut release, 2005's We Are Always Searching
. This is mostly due to their popularity on sites such as Purevolume, and (of course) MySpace. At 40:40 this could have easily been a full length album but the band decided otherwise. Since I had to add this badn im going to assume that most of you are not aquainted with them yet so here is a quick overview of the band.
The band consists of six members, Steve Juliano on vocals, Kerith Marcantonio on backing (female) vocals and violin. Yes thats right violin but more on that later. Brian Thomas on the bass, piano, and backing vocals, Gabriel Iraheta and Timoteo Rosales on guitars, and Ryan Seaman on drums. The violin is actually surprisingly audibe throughout the entire album, adding a nice touch. The bass however, as in most albums these days, is not. The vocals are handled very well, however, the screams can sometimes seem a little bit forced.
The band plays a sort of infusion of post-hardcore, pop punk, and a few others with a few "gothic" touches, mainly found in the vocals. Just from the band name (which I think they took for their lyrics since the band's name pops up in a few songs) you should get the notion that this band writes lyrics with slight over use of the words vampire, coffin, blood and the like. However, if you can overlook these words the lyrics are actually quite good. If I would have to pick one line from the album to describe the lyrical content it would have to be "It's a cold dark night, Hallows Eve upon the crest, in a parking lot of vampires in suits to look their best, and the music, next to coffins made of gold, with friends and lovers freshly buried"
, which is from the title song. With that being said, on to the album.
The opening track is The Dead Girl Epilogue: Part One
which starts out with some echoing child vocals and a thunderstorm, followed by Kerith picking up the vocals which is the line "Soon the rain will wash away the sun, as I melt with you I Am Ghost"
reapeated for the duration of the three minute song. It's a fairly decent opener as it provides a nice atmosphere and gives you a glimpse of the previously mentioned "gothic" influences. The opener blends into the intro of the first proper song Pretty People Never Lie/Vampires Never Really Die
. most of you probably just cringed at that song title but the song is actually one of the highlights of the album. The intro consists of high dissonant chords with what sounds like an organ in the background leading into the second part of the intro, which turns out to be a shorter more simplistic version of the solo contained later in the song. The solo is actually surprisingly good but it is brought down by something that is my only major gripe on this album. The production quality.
Songs on this album are often brought down by the production quality as the previously mentioned solo is drowned out by the other instuments, even though its still mostly audible. So, from the first song on the album you can tell this band has a lot of potential. Moving on, there is not particularly spectacular about the title track. It contains a pretty nice hammer on/pull off intro but thats about it. Eulogies And Epitaphs
starts off with a drum roll which quicly sends you into what is in my opinion the best song on the album. With the exception of a few dodgy lyrics, this is an almost near perfect song from this band.There is also a nice sweep picked solo at the end followd by a violin interlude. Then a surprisingly metalcore like breakdown near the end containing a nice harmonized riff as well as occasional pinch harmonics.
Then, the album starts to go downhill. The Most beautiful Nightmare: Part Two
is really nothing special at all and if its supposed to part two of the intro then well... lets just say it isn't at all a continuation. The next two songs are just as unspectacular. Lady Madeline In Her Coffin
Is basically the only slow song on the album, and its not a ver good one. It never really does anything to jump out and grab your attention, and the piano outro just seems to go on forever with just two slightly out of key notes playing over and over and over with a few notes from the violin. However, Civil War And Isolation Thirst
is a surprisingly refreshing song containing a few piano notes then the guitars swell in and the song starts off. The intro contains a pretty nice guitar line and then a harmonized riff. The interesting part of this is that the violin actually harmoizes with the guitars in this riff. Then after the first chorus theres a..... wait is that the bass?! Yes, for the first time on the album the bass is actually heard. In fact it carries most of the second verse and if you paid attention earlier you would have heard it during the rest of the song as well. The last track is pretty uneventfull which contains a piano outro, ending the album softly.
For a debut release, this shows a lot of promise and great potential to one day become one of the major bands of the genre. My only gripe with the instrumentation is that, as mentioned before, sometimes the instruments drown out the others, especially the bass which is only predominately heard in Civil War And Isolation Thirst
. All in all this band has a lot of potential and I hope to see much more from them in the future.
Final Verdict, 4/5