I Called Your Name But All You Heard Was Static - The Name Of A Ghost
Artist: The Name of a Ghost
Album: I Called Your Name But All You Heard Was Static
Review by Steve Jenkins
Metalcore seems to have had something of an uphill battle when it comes to gaining respect from metal listeners, at least as far as the 21st century is concerned. Sure there are plenty of fans of the genre, but there are also plenty of detractors. Bands like The Name of a Ghost a breathing new life into the genre and creating hope for those other bands that continue to push the genre in the modern age. With this debut EP, The Name of a Ghost aren’t smashing open the gates of the genre but are certainly proving how far a band can push the quality of music that they've managed to deliver. With the aid of a couple of guest spots, this Brisbane band have become one of few groups that have consistently risen above and beyond the rest and have capitalized upon popular metalcore traits in an appropriate way to put out a phenomenal release. The band’s style seems to be a juxtaposition of fast pedal point riffing and breakdowns, while building a foundation for a vocalist with a range dedicated to screaming and no time for the clean vocals common in the genre. This EP is packed to the brim with energy, passion, and inspired playing. Rich Brown's vocals are a tremendous asset, with a powerful roar often reminiscent of The Ghost Inside or Misery Signals. His range isn’t the most impressive thing ever, but he does a great job of sounding committed to the music and it's enough to grab your attention and make you want to learn the lyrics for a good old sing along. His vocals actually seem to have more in common with melodic hardcore than metalcore, but the fit is undeniable. One of the heavier tracks "Sort Me Out Geezer" features Initiate Jericho vocalist Jared Bray and it delivers an absolute devastating sound that leads to a battle of vocals between the two, showcasing some unbelievable gutterals and screams.
As always when it comes to metalcore, the breakdown discussion has to enter the limelight. The band has in no way skimped on that fare, but manage to do them very well. Speed has always complemented breakdowns well in my experience and TNOAG let theirs run at breakneck speeds. The band also experiments with softer passages at multiple moments on songs such as “Burn The Rivers” that are usually brief but satisfying excursions. The guitars are very proficient in their craft, with plenty of technical riffs and leads. The breakdowns are appropriately binary but the guitarists implement some groovier sounding riffs with note bending to add variety. The drummer is an absolute beast on the kit, with a breakneck performance and extremely varied beats. Fills abound and add a ton of energy to an already energetic release. The only place the band falls short in is the usual pitfall of metalcore. The bass is nearly nonexistent when the gain is turned up, but when clean guitars show up bass licks often augment them pleasantly. Production wise the EP sounds like modern metalcore, it’s clean to let the instruments shine but there’s enough punch in the mix to give little cause for complaint.
The Name of a Ghost are definitely not genre bending, but genre building. They have clearly honed the craft of making modern metalcore sound great at its root. I look forward to seeing the band grow and keep improving their furious modern metal sound with the weight and passion always existing behind the whole formula, with crushing guitar riffing, beautiful melodic passages, and a profound meaning weighing behind the musical backdrop. After hearing this EP, it makes me want to chuck on some Misery Signals, and that's not a bad thing at all. Great stuff!
8 out of 10 stars.
I Called Your Name But All You Heard Was Static is out now and available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.