I Am Ghost - Those We Leave Behind
Record Label: Epitath Records
Release Date: October 6, 2008
Having received a press invite to see I Am Ghost when they were on the Epitath Tour 2007 that included The Matches, Escape the Fate, and The Higher, I was moderately entertained by the band due to their high energy and non-stop interaction with the crowd. Outside of The Matches that night, I Am Ghost put on the best performance due to their work ethic on the stage. That was then and this is now; their latest album Those We Leave Behind falls flat on its face due to mediocrity and a lack of originality.
Notably absent is Kerith Telestai’s presence lending her violin play and female vocal. Her departure back in the summer of 2007 has left a hole in the band when it comes to unique attributes. She helped provide life to the band, and she’s sorely missed. The guitar work of Gabe Iraheta and the drumming of Ryan Seaman are also missed; it’s evident that their musicianship was much better than those who have replaced them.
What plagues Those We Leave Behind from standing above the rest in its post-hardcore genre is the droning songs that are excessively repetitive. The music isn’t catchy nor is it going to be filling up my Microsoft Zune anytime soon. Sure, the songs might be a little energetic, but there’s no soul that made me want to come back to the CD. If there’s one song to take away from this album, it is track eight “So, I Guess This Is Goodbye”, which is already charting on a few independent and college radio stations. Outside of that 14 track album is a huge disappointment with two boring interludes that beg the question of “Why am I still listening to this album?”
The lead vocals by Steve Juliano aren’t anywhere near the spectrum of great, but they are serviceable at the end of the day. He won’t get on your nerves to the point of aggravation, but on the flipside, he doesn’t showcase a lot of talent with his voice. He doesn’t push forward with intricate lyrics, but rather delivers somewhat obtuse lines such as: “I'm feeling fully cheated as I'm lying in the backseat / My eyes and lips are sewn; it's love you'll never know.” Though Juliano wasn't expected to take a huge leap in vocal disparity from the last album, he could have at least delivered better lyrics. But let's forget the shortcomings of the lyrics and concentrate on the music itself.
Falling into the limitations of the genre, I Am Ghost employs similar music heard before from bands such as Aiden, Escape the Fate, and the like. It’s not going to blow your mind away, and the band plays it safe with their musicianship and production. You’ll be getting a lot of straightforward chord progressions and a few hammer-ons here and there scattered throughout the songs. The music is generally simple and uncomplicated. It’s worth noting the drumming has regressed too as it is generally basic beats over and over again.
I can’t really recommend this album to anyone outside of fanatics of the post-hardcore genre. It is too typical for a band that showed such promise in the past. Download “So, I Guess This Is Goodbye” and maybe “Bone Garden” -- but that’s if you really want to push it -- and then you can call it quits.