Ghost Iris

Comatose

Written by: PP on 06/05/2021 18:23:52

Ghost Iris drops their fourth album "Comatose" just two years after the release of "Apple Of Discord", yet surprisingly much has changed stylistically in that short time span. Fans shan't fear, however, as the Danes continue to flesh out their djent-laden progressive metalcore muscles to a heavy (or shall I say, brutal?) extent here as well, but they do bring in a couple of interesting twists and turns that you might not expect.

Let's start with the straightforward stuff first. "Desert Dread" or a track like "Former Self" rely on the same formula as past albums: devastatingly heavy guitars annotated with angular djent riffage, and bone-crushing breakdowns are the name of the game with catchy, higher pitch clean vocals contrasting in best post-hardcore fashion. Especially the former is the very essence of a huge atmospheric metalcore track with a massive anthemic clean chorus driving the song home as if the technical guitar work and tightly compressed percussion weren't enough. It's right up there with most US output in the genre, and bloody catchy as well.

Where Ghost Iris differs this time around is first teased on "Cult". Here, a playful riff is lighter and more curious, serving as a foreshadowing element to its chorus, where the cleans borrow from R'n'B and pop realm to give even greater contrast to the metalcore chugging. It's just a prelude however when compared to the album centerpiece, "Ebb/Flow". Dominated by clean vocals, Ghost Iris shift course almost entirely and create an expansive, ambient soundscape that's sourcing directly from the R'n'B infused danceable post-hardcore acts like Issues and perhaps even Dance Gavin Dance to an extent. It allows vocalist Jesper Vicencio's higher pitch range to shine, but more importantly, adds so much new possibility into Ghost Iris' sound. The band effectively makes a bold statement that they no longer wish to be pigeonholed within djent/metalcore but would like to explore other musical avenues as well. It's infectiously catchy and innovative, and a different look that suits Ghost Iris well. It's a direction they should explore further on future records.

The experimentation doesn't stop there. "Paper Tiger", for instance, takes us in the opposite direction. Here, we're in Chimaira-esque, testosterone-laden muscular metal that deviates from the standard metalcore/djent formula into heavier and more brutal forms of metal, with guttural growls being used alongside death metal pummeling for good measure.

With crisp, crystal-clear production, thick growls, technical guitars, and progressive songs molded into an accessible format, "Comatose" delivers exactly what Ghost Iris fans are looking for while also innovating enough to keep their sound fresh. That should lure in plenty of new fans and keep existing ones satisfied. I'll leave you with a recommendation to especially focus on the second half of the album: the slab of songs from "Coda" through "Ebb//Flow", "Cold Sweat" and the insanely catchy "Coma" (that gives off distinct The Ghost Inside vibes) should've kicked off the album rather than closed it. Great stuff either way.

8

Download: Ebb//Flow, Cult, Coma, Cold Sweat
For the fans of: Periphery, TesseracT, Volumes, ERRA, The Ghost Inside, Chimaira
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.05.2021
Long Branch Records

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