Northern Ghost

Happy Sad Depressed Suicidal

Written by: MAK on 31/12/2017 18:32:04

I’ve always wondered what Bring Me The Horizon would have sounded like if they just stayed a little closer to "Sempiternal" instead of striving towards the Linkin Park styled stadium rock. Well, I feel like I might have found that answer with Cleveland, Ohio’s Northern Ghost. This quintet goes out of their way to create emotional, honest metalcore music and takes its influences from bands like BMTH, Underoath and Architects. In 2017, Northern Ghost signed with Tragic Hero Records. The partnership was an easy decision once they met label owner Tommy LaCombe. McVaney explained, “Right away he made us feel like a priority and made it very clear he believed in what we're doing.”, through Tragic Hero Records, the band unveiled their debut album “Happy : Sad : Depressed : Suicidal”.

With this release, you get two recognisable styles of metalcore that flourishes in the scene. With a song such as “If I'm Still Breathing, Then I'm Still Waiting” The brutish side that is designed to unleash chaos shines, producing monstrous roaring vocals, deep crushing riffs and breakdowns all delivered with the kind of angry emotions that seep right through into the punishing lyricism of “Watch me clean up the guts I spilled / And I hope that you enjoy the show/I'm begging you to just kill me now”, however it is balanced out by the atmospheric and emotive style of metalcore that the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Architects unleash on later material. A song like “Face To Face” is a prime example of this as it comes in with soothing melodies, soft clean singing that evolves into epic highs.

This is the blend that flows all throughout the album, with the heavy moments and soft segments taking turns to show their faces. “Not The Real Me” pushes that epicness to a grander forefront, at the beginning of the album with the good cop/ bad cop vocal styles; flaunting ferocious roars in the verse and beautiful cleans in a perfect anthemic chorus. “Heart of Stone” follows up with my favourite riff on the album, it has that right kind of distortion and frantic rhythm that screams recent Architects releases.

As the name of the album suggests, topically this release is negative and rather depressive, much like the aforementioned lyrics show, matching not only the aggressive music on show but the atmospheric segments too as the monumental vocals reveal the emotion in a powerful manner. “So if I end up in a lifeless nowhere / I'll crawl back to my hole / And now there's nowhere else for me to go / I'm on my own.” is a hooking segment all about isolation, and it crescendos from a huge clean singing piece into a vicious throat tearing eruption from singer, Tony McVaney.

In recent years I’ve not been shy to rip into a metalcore album if it sounds generic, but this release, while far from original, had some incredible delivery and recycles a sound that is no longer being produced directly elsewhere and makes it feel fresh again. By that I mean ”Happy : Sad : Depressed : Suicidal” is freakishly similar to “Sempiternal”, but Bring Me The Horizon don’t appear to write songs like this anymore so it almost feels like a great idea to not be so “original”.


Download: Face To Face, Not The Real Me, Heart of Stone
For The Fans Of: Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, Underoath

Release date 07.07.2017
Tragic Hero Records

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