Ghost Brigade - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (2011)



Back for another round of Finnish progressive death metal, Ghost Brigade comes out of the shadows with their new album, entitled “Until Fear No Longer Defines Us.” This is the bands third full length album and man what a performance it is. This ten track masterpiece has got everything from roaring growls to calm clean singing with constant change in tempos and melodies. Each song being diverse and yet just as amazing as the next.

You’re greeted with “In The Woods” which is a four minute acoustic performance with lead singer Manne Ikonan singing smooth clean vocals that will draw you deep into the music. The acoustic guitars float gently in the background with relaxing melodies. As the song fades you are rudely awakened with “Clawmaster” while guitars ignite with tons of heavy distortion. Deep demonic growling vocals come flying in on top as massive drums and cymbals explode behind them. There is so much bass in this song that you’ll feel the vibrations run through your body the minute the notes are played. The vocals are interesting as the verses go back and forth between the dark growling and the soothing clean singing. This is the same for the refrain as well. You’ll also find the guitar work to be quite incredible as blaring guitar riffs scream throughout the chorus. The instruments calm down again during the second and third verse. Definitely check out the guitar work during the refrain though. The melodies being played are just phenomenal.

“Chamber” leans more towards the first track where you’re hit with gorgeous clean singing while they hold off on the reckless growling. Drumming is added toward the beginning of the song as calm guitar notes play softly along side them. The bass gives off a very warm sound as it collects the rest of the instruments and keeps them close together. The refrain does pick up and get a little heavier musically. Distortion is added while the kick and snare start to become a little more repetitive with mixed patterns. The way the cymbals and hi hats are incorporated are quite catchy and will definitely make you want to bob your head to the rhythm. As far as heavy growling goes, you run into that in “Traces Of Liberty.” It’s accompanied by loud catchy guitar riffs and reckless cymbals crashing everywhere. This track definitely jumps out and grabs you by the throat. The refrain gets even more aggressive with dark melodic guitar riffs and more deep growling vocals. You’ll also notice eerie strings in the background which provide haunting tones to the music.

Things slow down with "Grain." The guitars are light as clean vocals are delivered with such passion. The verses contain beautiful lyrics as simple hi hats and snares lead the way to the chorus. The guitars become heavier as you hit the refrain. As distortion flies by, the vocals are what you'll be following. After hearing them once or twice you'll definitely find yourself singing along. Also the melody to the guitars are absolutely gorgeous and full of energy. Make sure you don't skip this song.

By now I’m sure you’re all looking for that one track that just completely consumes you. Well “Breakwater” is that track. It’s dark chugging guitars will surround you with dark tones in the beginning as the drums beat you down repetitively. This eight minute piece of work changes up a lot with its diverse song structure which keeps you at the end of your seat the entire time. After the demonic riffs fly through, vicious growling vocals follow destroying everything in their way. After the dust clears, the distortion disappears as calm guitars take over. This is where the softer clean vocals come into play. The relaxing tones in Ikonan’s voice put you at ease as you try to recover from the violent riffs before this. Of course this doesn’t last long as harsh guitar riffs come rumbling back in at full speed along with more wicked growling on top of it. Meanwhile the cymbals are just shattering from left to right. This is where you’re going to want to throw you’re devil horns in the air. The bass is just relentless in the breakdown towards the end as monstrous guitar riffs stomp you out. The song closes out with soothing guitars and deep bass lines as you finally get to catch your breath.

Another powerful track is “Torn” as it opens with a quick drum solo. Violent guitar riffs jump in after a few seconds as devilish growls follow after that. Pay close attention to the drumming in this one because the drum rolls in between each riff is absolutely bone crushing. The detail in each fill is incredible. The melodies of the guitars are catchy during the bridge with uplifting notes and soothing synths behind them. Keep in mind that the man behind the synths and keyboards is none other than Swallow The Sun’s Aleksi Munter. The instruments combined paint a beautiful image. This is followed by the final song on the album, entitled “Soulcarvers” which is another lengthy track only this time it stays to the more mellow side. Catchy guitar riffs run throughout the song while clean vocals soar over the top really reaching out to you. The refrain builds up with deafening guitars and destructive drums while the vocals stay clean. Again, the drum fills during the chorus are breath taking. You’re definitely going to want to play this track over a couple of times.

What’s great about “Until Fear No Longer Defines Us” is that anyone and everyone can find a little something that they love on this album. If you’re not really a fan of growling but you love heavy progressive instruments with amazing clean singing then you’ll love this album. Same thing for those who are all about aggressive guitars and harsh vocals. There’s no way around it. You’re gonna find something incredible about this album. Their diverse style is what makes Ghost Brigade such a magnificent band. So make sure you check this one out. It’s an album you cannot miss!

9/10

Official Site - http://www.ghostbrigade.net/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/ghostbrigade