My Chemical Romance
The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts


1.5
very poor

Review

by Dalton DuBois USER (30 Reviews)
September 24th, 2016 | 159 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shut down the parade, we're marching down empty streets

My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade” was a very divisive album; nonetheless, it carved a solid legacy, and inspired a hefty number of bands that are currently making music in the scene. Excitement was running high for the re-release, which came after an admittedly funny mix up about the band’s apparent “return” that caused millions of people disappointment due to poor marketing on the part of Warner Brothers / Reprise. Unfortunately; “Living with Ghosts” is nothing more than a scratch take of half-cocked demos, several throwaway tracks, and clear cash grabbing intent.

While I understand that most of the material on here is demos, and thus unexpected to have high production values; it’s almost abundantly clear with this that they just contacted the producer of Black Parade, asked him to go into the folder of “shit we didn’t use”, and just send the distributors random .wav files. It would have been very easy (especially for a re-release with a budget like this) to very quickly go into the files, and do a very quick mix simply to even levels out, and make certain parts of the music actually audible. Gerard’s vocals on the demos are often so low in the mix, that you can’t even hear them; when they’re not super low, they’re painfully high in the mix to the point where it detracts everything else. That’s not to mention the rabid inconsistencies in the guitar tone, crushingly loud drum cymbals, and just an overall sense of laziness.

The material itself isn’t that different from the final products bar a few demos that weren’t used in the final “Black Parade” album, just the originals without any cool moments in the rough takes to justify listening to. The live demos just have nothing to offer over the originals, and don’t provide any particularly interesting glimpses into the band’s recording process. The new songs that weren’t in the final release, such as “Emily”, are mostly mediocre, and have nothing much to offer bar a few catchy riffs here and there. Arguably the only decent things provided by this record are “The Five of Us Are Dying”, which was an early draft of The Black Parade’s title track that’s actually interesting enough, and leveled enough to listen to and enjoy, and parts of “All the Angels”, which is a relatively nice little ballad.

This was a whopping example of a re-release that actually had potential, if just a little bit of additional post-production was done, along with actual involvement from the band itself; bar their statement of (sorry that our record label was hyping you up, we’re not actually coming back, peace y’all). An unfortunate cash grab under the moniker of a band that prided itself on enhanced theatrics, and fantastic energy.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Snide
September 24th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Stream: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYEc74fQJpc45rwcy5THPkm7agFY0j6qm

I was more than disappointed in this. Constructive critique always welcome.

ConcubinaryCode
September 24th 2016


4026 Comments


Does this have the b sides and is the actual black parade material remastered or what?

Snide
September 24th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

The original Black Parade material isn't remastered, and the b-sides are shitty (primarily due to laziness on the part of the producers / organizers of this re-release, and an almost complete lack of band involvement)

ConcubinaryCode
September 24th 2016


4026 Comments


No reworked material. No studio version of kill all your friends or any b side really. So this is basically something for die hard fans as long as they're not still bitter about the band not getting back together even though it was based on their own wild speculation.

Snide
September 24th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Basically, except even die-hard fans (like myself) are going to be disappointed. I've seen no-one over the age of 15 praising this re-release.

ConcubinaryCode
September 24th 2016


4026 Comments


Implying anyone under the age of 15 would even care about this. It's a ten year old album

TVC15
September 24th 2016


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

By principle this gets a solid 1. Good review too

Digging: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

Snide
September 24th 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

The original album was a 4.5 for me.

So yeah, more than a little pissed.

Spec
September 24th 2016


34740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

This is fucking horrible. Was the entire band piss drink during the demo sessions?

TVC15
September 24th 2016


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I have the original at a 5, I'm probably more pissed off than you are hah.



@Spec, Gerard used to be an alcoholic so I wouldn't be surprised

Spec
September 24th 2016


34740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

There's not a single enjoyable track in extras.

FullOfSounds
September 24th 2016


15463 Comments


Is this that tribute album where the songs are covered by a different band each or nah

Spec
September 24th 2016


34740 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

nope

FullOfSounds
September 24th 2016


15463 Comments


jeez the worst has yet to come.

ConcubinaryCode
September 24th 2016


4026 Comments


Nah, the tribute album is pretty inoffensive. I was contemplating writing a review about it.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2016


2548 Comments


Tbh a lot of bands can pull off being hella entertaining and piss drunk at the same time.


AsleepInTheBack
September 24th 2016


4746 Comments


Agreed with this hard unfortunately.

Sinternet
September 24th 2016


14498 Comments


one of your best reviews yet snide, really concise and snappy

suffice to say i probably won't be hearing this unless morbid curiosity gets the better of me

Digging: Circa Survive - The Amulet

LepreCon
September 24th 2016


5419 Comments


2 negs from pissy MCR fanboys.

Storm In A Teacup
September 24th 2016


22055 Comments


I've been trying to get back into MCR but no era of the band is interesting to me or gets my ears off anymore :-l I won't even bother with these extras. Too bad the label seems to be more in control and not the band.



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