The Amity Affliction – Chasing Ghosts (2012)

The year of 2012 has certainly been Australia’s for music. Band after band have had phenomenal releases in the past few months and The Amity Affliction are no exception to this. This five piece metalcore band from Brisbane have been one of the more closely watched bands from this region after the release of their previous album, Youngbloods. Now they’re back to release the much anticipated Chasing Ghosts under Roadrunner Records.

The first track, which also happens to be the title track, “Chasing Ghosts”, was one of the two songs released as a single (the other being “RIP Bon”) and was met fairly well, but some of the fans criticized the track on being “too generic”, which brings me to my main point. Chasing Ghosts seems like an attempted rehash of the wonderfully created album Youngbloods. This would not be too much of a problem but it seems like The Amity Affliction have taken a step backwards with the release of this album. For one, the overall production is not nearly as good in comparison to their previous album. Everything seems to be focused on Ahren’s singing and in turn just makes the drumming and guitar sound weak and inaudible.

Speaking of Ahren’s singing, that is another one of my concerns. On this album, there is so much singing that it is nearly at the point of abuse. His voice may be amazing but it should not be used in the quantity that it has been here. Throughout the entire album, Ahren sounds bored or emotionless and I fear that he may be on the verge of the transformation to your typical sounding metalcore/post-hardcore vocalist. By the end of this album, I am nearly sick of hearing all the singing.

However, these are the only flaws that I found on the album and only seem minor when compared to the stronger points of Chasing Ghosts. The screaming has remained generally the same and as good as ever. The vocals sound gritty and heavy while the lyrics take an opposite approach and are beautiful and poetic. “I’m not searching the sky for a reason to live because I found beauty right here and the passion to give,” is taken from “Open Letter” and is one of the many lyrics that really stood out and caught my ear.

One of the highlights of The Amity Affliction is the synth that they subtly incorporate into the background of their music. It is scarcely noticeable but gives the songs much more ambiance. Another thing I must commend them on is how catchy some of the tracks are. The choruses from a couple of songs (“Open Letter” and “Flowerbomb”) ended up getting in my head and I was hearing them right into the next song as well. The guitar riffs, the few rare time where I got a good listen to them, always had a nice tone but from what I heard were mainly chugging and breakdowns.

Overall, The Amity Affliction have released another decent album to add to their discography but it did not live up to my expectations or my love for Youngbloods. It is definitely an album worth checking out of you enjoyed their previous album or are a fan of the metalcore/post-hardcore genre. The tracks that you need to listen to are “Open Letter”, “Flowerbomb”, and “Geof Sux 666”.

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By Austin Richburg ~ Me Gusta Reviews