The Ghost Inside is back at it again with yet another great melodic metalcore album. This time around they chose to work on a loose concept album entitled Dear Youth. Essentially the record deals with the advice one would to give their younger selves or what one would tell the younger generations. Aside from the lyrical content, the album isn’t too different from their past attempts, but with the great deal of success the band has faced why would they bother to fix something that is definitely not broken?
The album opens up with the track “Avalanche”. It’s an interesting song, but it’s also just another The Ghost Inside song. One thing I will note is that its introductory instrumentals kind of reminds me of the song “Suicide Season” by Bring Me The Horizon. Once vocalist Jonathan Vigil’s uncleans come in along with some drumming the track sets itself up for what could be the most intense introduction, but it kind of just stops and hesitates a little before going into what should have been included a few seconds earlier. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this song, but it takes a little while to get into the interesting parts. If a song is just a bunch of screaming, it should have something that makes the screams super interesting or else it just kind of fades away into the background for me. Eventually, some clean vocals come in, but the song should have either played up the screams or thrown in some cleans a little earlier.
The album moves forward with the track “Move Me”. It starts off in a way that is reminiscent of early emo rock, something I totally wasn’t expecting for TGI. The introductory instrumentals are so hauntingly beautiful and the “1, 2, 3, 4!” at the beginning lets listeners know that they’re in for a fun song. Fast-paced unclean vocals kick in and the track goes into a sound that is far more TGI than the intro, but hey, that’s great too. The chorus is super catchy starting with the clean vocal part “We walk before we run” that goes back into some unclean vocals that really make this song exciting. This song basically depicts everything fans love about TGI.
Eventually, listeners get a chance to hear the most hardcore song off the record, “Mercy”. Oddly enough the song starts off with some bells, but it makes sense once you hear the Ernest Hemingway reference, “For whom the bell tolls!” It then goes into some intense instrumentals that make you want to start moshing. “Mercy” is easily one of my favorite tracks off of this record for a number of reasons. For one, the lyrics are super inspirational in a bad ass way: “I’d like to think I’d never cave in/ A vicious battle I may never win/And I’d like to think I’ll come out stronger/ Life’s swinging hard, but I’m swinging harder”. When I said that a song that is mostly screaming needs interesting unclean vocals, this is what I meant. The chorus manages to be catchy without the use of melodic clean vocals.
The record goes into a bit of an intermission with the track “Phoenix Flame”. It starts off with some soft and slow guitars and drums. It’s almost like a ballad halfway through the record. Hell, it even sounds like there’s a violin playing at the end of it. If the fact that “Phoenix Flame” is a slower song doesn’t make you think it’s an intermission, the fact that it only has 5 verses should put all doubts to rest.
“Dear Youth (Day 52)” basically ties the whole concept together, which is to be expected of a title track. It’s a fun pretty typical TGI song. However, one thing that is pretty cool about it is that the band asked fans to send in some of their own videos for the track’s music video.
I thank the Epitaph gods for “Wide Eyed” featuring Jason Aalon Butler of letlive. They brought together two of my favorite bands for one super fun song. The introduction has a bit of a punk influence and the guitar parts are kind of thrown to the background to make room for some pretty awesome fast-paced drumming. However, the best part about this track is when Jason Butler comes in. He interrupts the song with a little quip about how people never thought that their bands would make it and now they’re proving all of those people wrong. Butler tosses in a small singing part that is totally random, but oddly enough it works and adds to the song.
The record closes with “Blank Pages”. It’s a song that starts off pretty slow and throws in some ambient sounds. Even the Vigil’s screams are slowed down to make this song one of the best ways to close Dear Youth. There are some very audible clean vocals that occasionally mix in with some unclean vocals, to no surprise. “Blank Pages” is a really melodic song that puts listeners into a bit of a trance and winds things down. It ties all of the loose ends together by giving advice to Vigil’s younger self, while also breaking apart from that aspect of him to move forward with his older, stronger self. It ends with insanely beautiful and melodic instrumentals that close the album beautifully.
If you’re a fan of The Ghost Inside, then do yourself a favor and buy Dear Youth. There’s a good reason that the band has been so successful and this album just reconfirms that.
You can check Dear Youth in full below: