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Ghost Brigade - IV - One With The Storm Award winner

Ghost Brigade
IV - One With The Storm
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 November 2014, 1:58 PM

GHOST BRIGADE is a Metal band that defies categorization, but can perhaps be described as a blend of Melancholy, Post-Rock, Metalcore, Prog, Death and Doom.  One of the things that the band has always held in high regard was altering their sound from album to album, so as to stay fresh and genre less.  They were formed in Finland in 2005, and have three previous releases.  This newest album, entitled “IV – One With the Storm,” contains ten tracks.  “Wretched Blues” leads off the album, with a dominating and assertive guitar riff, where the chord progressions are minor in key.

There is definitely a melancholy feeling to the music, against the harsh side of the Death vocal wails.  Yet, it fits together so perfectly.  There is also a wondrous sense of melody that pokes through that could be easily missed if you weren’t paying attention.  “Departures” is a slower piece with clean vocals that really cue on the more emotional side of this music.  Brilliantly done, the harmonies of this song could easily be something you would welcome on the radio.  “Aurora” is another strong and melodic track that walks a fine line between despair and hope.  Death vocals augment the landscape and provide that tie in between these opposite feelings.  “Disembodied Voices” is just amazing.  The clean vocal harmonies anguish over delicate acoustic guitar passages, before it gives way to electric guitar and Death vocals.  It has a very despondent and doomy quality to it that makes your heart ache.  The guitar passages that take the song to its closing are just dead on.

“Electra Complex” is another wonderfully marvelous melodic song, running you through a bevy of emotional peeks and spine chilling chords.  Towards the end of the song they segue into a more aggressive riff and Death vocal power.  “Stones and Pillars” is a slow, grinding, dark and ever so powerful song that reminds you of the might and potency that the band has in this area.  It is tempered anger and brutality with just enough melody.  “Anchored” circles back around to the elegant simplicity of melancholic doom, with an impassioned chorus, and passages of Death vocals that provide a persuasive structure to the beauty within.  This might be the greatest example of Melody and Death that the album offers.  “The Knife” is a straight up head-banging darker song, with the addition of eerie keyboard passages that gives an air of mystery and suspense.  Yet, the clean vocal passages shoot beauty and grace straight into your very core.  The most poignant moment on the album might be in the spirited lamenting of the vocals in “Long Way to the Graves.”  The mood is somber but hopeful at the same time.  Closing the album is the song “Élama On Tulta.”  This is another really vibrantly energetic song with a melodic main riff and a saddened feeling.  What a wonderful job this band has done on this album.  The genius of GHOST BRIGADE and this new album is exactly in the band’s commitment to remain label-less, and just make the music that they want to make.  The final product is a unique and pleasing blend of many elements that Metal fans enjoy.  They are able to make you feel a wide variety of emotions, from excitement and intensity, to hope, despair, peace and sublimity.  This album has all the melody and progression of an OPETH album, and all the melancholy and melodic despair of INSOMNIUM.  Yet, they commit to neither, and instead give you their own window to their soul for you to enjoy as GHOST BRIGADE.

4 Star Rating

1. Wretched Blues
2. Departures
3. Aurora
4. Disembodied Voices
5. Electra Complex
6. Stones and Pillars
7. Anchored
8. The Knife
9. Long Way to the Graves
10. Elama On Tulta
Manne Ikonen – Vocals
Tommi Kiviniemi – Guitar
Wille Naukkarienen – Guitar
Joni Saalamo – Bass
Joni Vanhanen – Keyboards
Veli-Matti Suihkonen – Drums
Record Label: Season of Mist


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