Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Am Ghost - Lover's Requiem

Still to this day, I have seen I am Ghost live more times than any other band (six times). Not only has this album become an absolute favorite of mine since its release, it’s an album that musically and emotionally is a definitive classic. Although I’m not nearly as big on the screamo genre as I was two years ago, there are still a small handful of bands that I consider part of my VERY favorite bands group: Underoath, Alesana, and I am Ghost (my favorite out of the three has always been Underoath). It’s easier for other metalheads to understand why I love Underoath, but much, much harder for them to understand my appreciation for Alesana. The reason for both of those is because both of those bands are HUGE; it’s hard for a metal fan not to have heard them at least once in their lives. I am Ghost is a different story because they’re not nearly as popular; some people actually consider them being JUST above the underground level. But why the hell do I LOVE this band (and this album especially) so much?

The first quality of this album has the ability to impress anyone, and that’s the beautiful singing and harmonization. That’s the FIRST thing that I heard, because the intro track is a gothic-style vocal track with two male vocalists (one of them being the lead vox on the rest of the album) and the female singer/violinist. I know I might be making a big deal out of an introduction track, but I CANNOT stress enough how beautiful and paralyzing the singing is on this song! Once this track is done setting the mood and putting you in a relaxed state, it leads into one of the heavier songs on the album. The guitar distortions aren’t too crunchy, but have enough to efficiently weave in the anger. Even in this song, the singing and harmonization is breathtaking! On top of that, the screaming isn’t super high-pitched, but it has a really good, strong sound.

All of the musicians have above-average skill, creativity, and talent; but they’re not like…Opeth status. Some of the things that the guitarists and bassist play could probably be considered along the lines of “generic”, but even that would be somewhat inaccurate. The drummer has a lot of energy and never fails to keep what he plays interesting and attention-grabbing. The harmonizations that the guitarists play vary from being a generic metalcore sound to something completely abstract and (sometimes) gothic…sort of like Scary Kids Scaring Kids, but with a much cleaner sound.

Once again, I’m going to try and get my point across that THE VOCALS ARE AMAZING! My two favorite songs off this album are what I would consider to be the best examples of the singing potential this album has; but it comes down to the point where every song on this record is FILLED to the fucking TOP with some of the best vocal harmonization I’ve heard since…I don’t even know. This style of gothic vocal harmonizing gives the music an extremely melodic sound no matter how heavy and crushing the rest of the music gets; it’s something that even I have trouble understanding. One thing that I like about I am Ghost (and the majority of the screamo genre in general) is that you rarely get an album where all the songs sound EXACTLY the same. On this record, the songs are so different that it’s impossible to mistake one of the songs for another. But even though all of the songs are very different, most of them have that same depressive, melodic, gothic sound; which is ok because they do it perfectly.

Favorite song number one: Killer Likes Candy. This song has great vocal harmonizing, but not the most complex (so it’s harder to notice sometimes). The lead guitar parts don’t seem very complex, but when you get the general complexity of the lead guitar parts and you add on a violin that’s supposed to play the EXACT same thing, you get a pretty amazing sounding lead riff. Favorite song number two: Pretty People Never Lie, Vampires Never Really Die. If you want to hear more of that singing that you heard in the intro track, this song will give you plenty more. This is a heavier song that has a similar mood as Killer Likes Candy; but with more of a gothic sound. Both of these songs are COMPLETELY flawless and surpass my expectations by light years.

Lover’s Requiem is one of my favorite albums and I’ve been listening to it since its release. Unfortunately the lead vocalist quit the band and the group decided they were going to continue on, but under a different name (basically starting a new band). Each of the times I saw them on stage in venues with barely any people at all, I was completely blown away. I would give this album a perfect score and would recommend it to EVERYONE, especially to fans of melodic metal.