The Ghost Inside are learning lessons from their past, and they’re not afraid to scream back and let it know. Taking pages from their history and tearing them apart in front of us, their fourth studio album ‘Dear Youth’ is the grittiest yet reflective we’ve seen the LA 5-piece.
2 years since their last musical foray, The Ghost Inside have bottled all their contagious energy and anger, then spilled it all out into ‘Dear Youth’ to create pure, unadulterated emotional carnage. An 11-track long anthem to the mistakes of yesterday but the defiance of today and the victories of tomorrow, this is the best The Ghost Inside have sounded to date.
Crammed full of inspirational lyrics, roof-raising singalongs and face-melting riffs, ‘Dear Youth’ takes one look at the boundaries of metalcore and smashes them effortlessly, adapting their trademark emotion-driven style to a semi-concept record – a brave step in the right direction for a band whose only way is straight to the top.
The lullaby opening line of ‘Avalanche’ presents frontman Jonathan Vigil’s consistent guttural uncleans harmonising with echoing cleans. “You wrecked this city but not my will” demonstrates a reinforced, rebuilt and reenergised The Ghost Inside. About ruddy time. Screamalongs ahoy with ‘Move Me’s philosophical lyricism, and relentless defiance runs through the veins of ‘Dear Youth’ while a Machine Head-esque punishing riff blasts through the gang vocals of ‘My Endnote’. Accompanied by spine-tingling riffs and melodic tangents, ‘Out Of Control’ delivers an inspirational, tattoo-worthy philosophy to live by – “walk in these shoes before you trample my feet”. The immense gang vocals throughout should generate a jaw-dropping crowd response at live shows, it won’t be long before we’re hearing entire crowds belting “force fed and misled, but not me, I see red”.
Jason Butler from letlive. storms into ‘Wide Eyed’ to forge a fantastic contrast with Vigil’s razor-sharp tongue – “your prying hands can’t lift that chip off your shoulder” is utterly inspired. ‘Mercy’s well-disguised cry for help throws an immense nod to Metallica’s “for whom the bell tolls” without compromising an iota of style and atmosphere. The crowd-rousing knockout track ‘With The Wolves’ only further demonstrates The Ghost Inside’s mastery at creating anthemic, larger-than-life screamalongs in a scene of impenetrable, inaudible lyrics. In contrast, however, the heart-wrenching ‘Phoenix Flame’ presents a poignant atmospheric turn for the band, which they adapt to effortlessly. The beautifully solemn string backing appeals to fans of the slow numbers, but a strong element of their defiance remains – “it’s a long fall from the top, can you stand it?”.
Relentless, game-changing, astounding. The Ghost Inside pulled out all the stops for ‘Dear Youth’ and every risk paid off. This is just the beginning for the Cali lads, and quite frankly, long may they reign.
’Dear Youth’ by The Ghost Inside is out now on Epitaph Records.
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Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)