Having now signed to InVogue Records and are looking to push their music harder than ever, Illinois based Ghost Key are back with a new album that is surely going to be in many people’s lists of AOTY if you are a big fan of melodic hardcore and strong punches. ‘If I Don’t Make It’ is looking to be their most emotionally draining release and now its time to see how it fairs in its genre’s pool.
With ‘Death In The Family’ kicking off with a build up of sound before the vocals kick in ferociously and the whole band following suit, you can immediately tell what kind of journey you’re going to be taken on. Having that Counterparts vibe with its writing with a big more aggression in its delivery, the band make such a strong presence with every single member with the melodies being crunchy and minimalist as to not drown out the rest of the instrumentation. As it goes into ‘Indecision’, the guitar riffs add a small element of bounce and swing within its walls, but when it comes down to the bare knuckle brawl of the breakdown, it unleashes a massive wave of low tuned and low toned sound that just takes your breath away and adds another positive tick on the checklist.
Don’t think that the band comes into the record always guns blazing, because they still have a strong presence in their melodies even if they will be mainly overshadowed by the more combative guitar work. A perfect example of this is with the introduction and verses of ‘Dead Man’ which have this crisp and beautiful guitar lead come through strong and add a nice element of depth into the recording. It helps bring up the moments of anthem-like quality to a high point before everything comes crashing down with the palm muted anguish that is their outro. Another track that has a strong melody working in its favour is ‘Dying To Live’, combined with the vocals gives the album that much more of an emotional side point that you might not have expected from the record.
This band have covered all the bases of their labelled genre as well as pushed things a lot harder to make this record have a long lasting impression on the listener and it does just that. With the modern era wave of hardcore of many kinds, this band are slowing become the forefront of the upcoming melodic hardcore band scene.