Review Summary: The product of youthful exuberance.
The Ghost Inside is one of the current front runners of the metalcore scene, along side bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Parkway Drive, etc. Formerly known as A Dying Dream, The Ghost Inside has been branding their own style of moderately generic bad boy metalcore since 2004. Coming off the album "Get What You Give", it can be safely said they actually do this really well. The screams packed a mean punch and the riffs were amazing for simple enjoyment and headbanging. The album was simple, blunt and just an overall great record for letting off some steam. So how does "Dear Youth" fare?
Actually surprisingly well.
Just like any "The Ghost Inside" record, the album kicks off with a furious lead for a song, something to immediately grab the listener. "It's time to pull through, something I must do with or without you." This is one of the lines off of the first track "Avalanche". The line is cliche but it is too demanding to ignore, which the entire album does a great job of doing-demanding attention. The vocals are harsh and enraged but don't overshadow the lyrics of the track. The track isn't technical and the whole album is far from being technical as well, but everything is delivered with such a passion and even nostalgia that it becomes hard to ignore, especially on the title track "Dear Youth".
As for the actual content of the music, most of what is offered is plain Jane riffs and drumming, which is a big double edged sword on this album. Everything is played to safe to be all to memorable but it stops any tracks from stooping to rock bottom. The drums just roll along side the guitar and vocals, and the guitar is half unnecessary breakdowns. The small number of breakdowns that feel necessary and add to the tracks are however badass and get your blood pumping.
Even despite this, however, the album offers an immediate sort of satisfaction. The lyrics and choruses are cheesy but they are infectiously catchy, and while some do slip under the catchier tracks, even those tracks are enough to warrant a few playthroughs in your own head. I'd really only say the only tracks that offers any sort of content besides being catchy and vague enough to be relate-able are "Wide Eyed" and "Phoenix Flames", with "Wide Eyed" offering surprise cleans by the vocalist of Letlive and "Phoenix Flames" breaking the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown-chorus set up, and actually offering some violin to mellow out the ending. The former track, "Wide Eyed", unfortunately is awkward, simply because the melody is seemingly out of nowhere, although it is nice that The Ghost Inside tried adding variety.
In summary I can't say that the album is amazing, but it's among the best of generic breakdown based metalcore you will find. It fits a safe niche that, albeit is already a bit constricting, it manages to work with well. The album is passionate and full of cheesy but catchy one liners that allow you to blow off steam, even if they don't do much more.