WORDS: OLIVER LINDOP
Formed in 2004 and starting life as “As A Dying Dream”, the Los Angeles-based band The Ghost Inside put their stamp on the scene with their first release “Fury for the Fallen Ones”. This album was never praised as anything groundbreaking, but it was adored by fans for the ferocious delivery of classic hardcore motifs, exhilarating breakdowns and belting sing-alongs. This was even more true for their second album “Returners”, a skillful reprise which brought the band to the top of the metal melting pot, though now with a healthy splash of melody-driven choruses which buried themselves in your brain. This of course came with protest from the hardcore purists, who started to ask the age old question: where do you draw the line between hardcore and metalcore? Well, “Get What You Give” (GWYG) didn’t need to be one or the other – that line is where this band calls home. Being their first released on the infamous record label Epitaph, and with Jeremy McKinnon on as a producer-something huge was bound to happen.
“THE GHOST INSIDE CAUSED FOR A DIVINE SPARK OF METALCORE LIFE, INJECTING TO THE SCENE’S MAIN VEIN.”
Although, 2012 wasn’t exactly a quiet year for Metalcore/Hardcore: Converge had irrupted with “All We Love We Leave Behind”,Architects began their journey of global domination releasing “Daybreaker” and even While she Sleeps jumping on the album bandwagon with “This Is The Six” Would GWYG fall to the waste side or manage to make a statement? The fact you’re reading this dedicated article 8 years on, we think gives the answer away.
As soon as we hit play on the opening track “This Is What I Know About Sacrifice”, an immediate call to arms is in effect; you’re riled up with the first of many humongous vocal roars from vocalist Jonathan Vigil – “Let’s go!”. We could easily write another full feature about all of the different breakdown call-outs on this record – it’s the band’s bread and butter, and no one does it better – but we’ll do our best to keep it brief here. “Face Value” and “Thirty Three” give us huge choruses drenched in emotive lyrics and grand instrumentation which make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention, and all of this is effortlessly intertwined with impossibly fast drum beats and gripping guitar riffs demonstrated at their best in “Slipping Away”.
THE ALBUM’S MESSAGE OF OVERCOMING HARDSHIP HAS BECOME THE BAND’S CONSISTENT MANTRA.”
One of the most major developments in the bands sound on this record is the use of clean vocals. The powerful yet angelic tones layered in the choruses for “Dark Horse” and “Engine 45” send what would otherwise be a typical screamed section to new heights. The band even push as far as having exclusively clean sections, which deliver a dynamic shift that loads up the rest of the song to hit like a mule.
If you listen closely, you might notice something more than just guitars, bass, and drums as you journey through the record. Utilising the use of samples such as gunshots, freight trains and bass booms offers a polished finish to these mammoth breakdowns. These new elements went on to become staples in the band’s sonic arsenal, continuing throughout “Dear Youth” and even heard in their massively anticipated return to the scene with the song “Aftermath”.
For most metal-heads this record was cranked at full volume throughout 2012, and would go on to influence the next wave of bands such as Beartooth, Obay The Brave, Dayseeker and Polaris. Who all funnily enough formed in the same year of this albums release, a coincidence maybe? Or a divine spark of metalcore life, injected to the scenes main vein.
WHETHER YOU’RE REVISITING THE RECORD OR LISTENING TO IT FOR THE FIRST TIME, YOU CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH EUPHORIA.
This album often speaks of working through hardship and overcoming adversity ,these messages became a mantra for the band after a catastrophic tour bus crash in 2015, where all members of the band were put into hospital in a critical condition. Fans were distraught. It looked like the band was done forever. However, after a slow and arduous battle they made a near-full recovery, and in a huge triumph will be releasing a new record on June 5th, 2020.
So, if you’re out there wondering why there is so much hype around this band or speculating why their fans are so dedicated- with tattoos of lyrics from songs all over their bodies- just give a chunk of your day ( its only 11 songs c’mon) to this record and we guarantee you will have a chorus, a riff or a breakdown call suck in you head; and it only gets better and better with every listen. GWYG’s listenability catapulted The Ghost Inside (and even the hardcore genre) towards the music mainstream whilst also securing them a place in modern hardcore circles.
When you re-visit “Get What You Give”, or even if you’re experiencing it for the first time, you can’t help but be overwhelmed with euphoria. Each song grips you tightly, with thoughts of summer tours and festivals sure to be echoing through your mind. The band earned its place among metalcore royalty with this album – you could even argue that it made them leaders of the genre – showing that after two solid pieces of work, they could still deliver a masterclass with superb, genre-defining tracks.
The Ghost Inside’s self titled record is out 5th June via Epitaph Records.