Saturday, 20 August 2011

Ghost Brigade - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us [2011]

The successor of one of the finest metal albums. Great challenge for its writers and a cause of anxious waiting for the fans. All summer, Ghost Brigade kept knocking to our ears – showing a single, announcing a video made by Fursy Teyssier – another fresh hot name in this industry - and at last, freely streaming new baby. They are just 6 years old and already did 3 albums. But I guess that we all wondered ‘will they be able to beat Isolation Songs? or at least keep that level?’ Let’s figure out.

The biggest surprise comes immediately – after thick&heavy Isolation Songs that brought to think of them as doom or even sludge metal, the opening In The Woods - an acoustic, clean-sung ballad - shocks with its fraility. Luckily, GB proves that they don’t need guitar effects to bring up a beautiful riffs and melody. As they explained – the story is ‘a memory’ of meeting the man who made a cemetery in the woods as a ‘home for broken dreams’.

Clawmaster was made a first single and it seems to be the most old-style song. There is a deep musical background with keys and distorted guitars + growl-clean singing combo we loved so much. The lyrics at first reminded me of last Insomnium song, especially the parts like:
I was your slave with no name
You defiled my body
But you couldn't destroy my soul
but in general, they speak of breaking the ties and gaining the liberty (of mind). The roles change, and our hero is now at command.

Chamber is one of the softer, easy-rock songs with a very catchy, nice melody. The combination of slow guitars and peaceful drum in verses gives a nice, trance feeling. But since it talks about sick, dying relationship there is a bitter drop of sadness in it, rising as the chorus drives heavier guitarilly.
If you want to disappear please follow me.

Traces of Liberty have a great, rare sludgy riff and vibrating background. Good, heavy old-styled song with a completely growled story of the darrrrkest side. 
Divine Act of Lunacy kind of follows this dark way – simple, low, stoning riff, but clean vocals and more noticeable drums. The lyrics apply to the album title and the whole song can be summarized in its powerful chorus:
Marching through fire without water
Cleanse yourself for tomorrow
Fear is forbidden

Grain is a dark, realistic love song with a bit of Katatonia’s spirit. Slightly distorted guitars, shy versus and again raging, brave chorus. Nice song with great chances to become (not only) teenage metal-girls favourite (;

Breakwater is a complex, long composition. It begins as a classic doom song, but soon – crack! – breaks into a floating, acoustic ballad – crack! don’t get used to it, we’re back to classic Ghost Brigade recipe – crack! crack! and a powerful outro-solo. Moreover, this song has one of the most beautiful lyrics from the album, talking about finding a courage to begin a new life – a fearless, free life.

Cult of Decay seems to be quite a new thing for this band. The guitar’s technique reminds electronic loop + it’s a simple, one line melody, in contrary to usual diverse harmonies and guitar talks. Moreover, there is an obvious, growled bridge and outro. The lyric is another dark story of broken human’s relationship/faith in world.
Torn is a pure fury – mixing sludgy, speedy riffs with more delicate, enchanting solo leading to a slowdown. A story of anger, that seems to fade though, and give place to a bit resigned sadness.

Ending Soulcarvers is a masterpiece itself. Sad slow melody enters as if the army of those who lost the battle. But as they say:
Rebirth through failure
Just like so many times before

The chorus breaks in rage again, but it’s the lines in between that seem to carry their most important message. The finishing solo, concluded by the cry “Soulcarvers” is simply eargasmic and heartbreaking.

At first I wanted to say that it’s a catchy, easier in listening album, that shall be good to encourage new listeners or to get to some great scandinavian metal radio... I wanted to say it's a solid music, although it simply can't outshine my love for Isolation Songs... But now, all I can say – don’t take that melody out of my head:

Let the undone come to life
And feel the love engraved
To the undivided presence of hope and innocence


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