Overall Score: 9/10 Vocals: 9/10 Lyrics: 9/10 Songwriting: 8/10 Pros: Raw and emotional | An incredible and uplifting end to a tragic story Cons: Nothing
When we talk about comeback stories, few are as inspiring as the story of The Ghost Inside. Their horrific bus crash from 2015 has been well documented and left the band sidelined until their live comeback last year. Given the injuries they suffered being able to play again seemed nothing short of a miracle. Now the next chapter of the band begins with the release of their new, self titled album.
It is undeniable that the accident is a huge influence on the album but it’s not something the band want to let define them. When such a traumatic event happens to you it’s impossible to not let it come through in the art you create, but the album also sees them trying to look beyond the accident. One thing that is immediately clear is how musically this album has The Ghost Inside picking up right where they left off. The albums opening of 1333 and Still Alive will feel so familiar to fans. The shout along gang vocals and mosh call slogans. The hefty guitar tone and beatdowns. It’s all here with even more emotional weight behind it.
These opening two songs are some of the explicit references to the crash. 1333 main hook of “TGI, From the ashes brought back to life” almost feels like the mission statement for the album. Still Alive also deals heavily with the impact the crash had on them but takes on an almost optimistic look at it. “Against all odds, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” captures exactly how the band view themselves as survivors. They don’t want to always been seen as victims of what happened, they’ve come through the other side. This track also shares some lyrics with the closing track Aftermath in a way that bookends the album nicely.
The rest of the album feels less explicit, feeling much closer to what The Ghost Inside were doing on Dear Youth. They have always been about powerful and emotional metalcore. That emotion has even more impact this time round. There is so much sincerity to Jonathan Vigil’s vocals on every second of this album. Tracks such as The Outcast also show how the crash has influenced their worldview without explicitly referencing it. Lyrically this track criticises the bands own ignorance to a lot of what was going on around them.
As for the quality of the songs individually, this album absolutely features some of The Ghost Inside’s best material. Pressure Point is possibly the heaviest track the band have ever released and suggests they might have been paying attention to what has been going in hardcore during their absence. The guitar tone has some of the ferocity that has got bands like Vein noticed. There’s also an increased use of melody this time and it’s the best this element of the band has ever been. One Choice features possibly the catchiest chorus the band have come out with. The tempo change on this track is also one of the best moments on this album.
Every member of The Ghost Inside has thrown their all into this album. Given the story behind it they could have released something with a fraction of the quality this has and people still would have lapped it up. But instead the band set out to release their definitive piece of work. If The Ghost Inside decided to never come back after the crash, no one would have blamed them. But instead they have returned stronger than ever, looking to start a new chapter in their career. I think they sum it up best as Aftermath closes the album: “Yesterday is gone, but the beat goes on”.
The Ghost Inside, the new self-titled album, is released today, June 5th 2020 on Epitaph Records. Pick up the album and associated merch at their UK and EU online shop.