Artist: Beyond the Shore
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
- Half Lived
- Glass Houses
- Breathe On Ice
Recently signed Metal Blade asset Beyond the Shore have hit the scene with their first full-length record, “Ghostwatcher,” their first release since their debut EP. This band’s signing might have been just a bit “odd” to some, as the label they’ve been signed to is one that is known for usually signing the biggest names in metal, metalcore, deathcore, etc. – Beyond the Shore is definitely a step in a different direction, and a good one at that.
This album picks up in sound a while after “The Arctic Front,” the band’s EP, showing definite improvement in every way. They’ve definitely put together a solid release with “Ghostwatcher,” maintaining a steady and familiar sound. The record can, more or less, be explained with these words: energetic, angry, angsty and melodic. This is a hardcore record filled with the sort of melodies you’d expect from many bands these days, the ever-growingly popular violin in the background, a few notes of technical guitar playing just before the heavier parts – but just because a few bits and pieces are common parts in this music scene today, don’t discredit these guys, or this album.
We start off with the intro “Dividers,” a brief, but definitely good start to the album, leading us in with the sound of a siren and hitting us with the ever-present chugging of the guitars and pounding of the drums, ending it with the melodic sound that this album is absolutely full of. “Half Lived” is a fast and energetic song that seems to be a good showing of just what the vocalist can do, revealing seemingly every sound this young man can bellow. “Transitions” definitely takes that energy from the previous track and runs with it, and seems to be a more emotional, less angry song through a few listens, repeating the easily memorized lyric “so cross your heart and hope to fly,” a verse that seems to ring about the sound of one wanting to escape life and live in their imagination – am I about right on what this song’s about or what? “Homewrecker” seems to just be absolute anger, beating down straight from the beginning – heck, the entire intro is a breakdown, but then erupts into such a beautiful and powerful chorus. I would almost call “Glass Houses” “Transitions, 2.0,” because it has just about the same sound, and the same energy, though does make itself its own through some different guitar playing. “Milestone” is almost a well-deserved break from the energy presented in this album – a melodic period of relaxation. Get enough rest? Hopefully you did, because “#Dreamkiller” picks right back up where the other half of the album left off, and even throws out a more technical sound from the band. I mentioned the energy this band has, right? We come to “Visions,” a song all about energy – this song, honestly, reminds me a lot of The Ghost Inside in a few parts, especially the opening – mostly the opening, really. “Breathe On Ice” keeps up a sound similar to “#Dreamkiller,” though less technical, and at times containing vocals that sound like… In Flames – I know, I was surprised too. Trust me, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Did you like “Homewrecker”? Let’s just hope you did, because “Ghostwatcher” takes that “Homewrecker” sound and throws in some beautiful melodic guitar playing, and an even more wonderful chorus.
For the most part, “Ghostwatcher” is, really, an awesome and solid hardcore record, just so filled with energy, which should be obvious at this point in the review, and the energy doesn’t take away at all from the record. Even the melodic parts keep up that same energy, and still continue to sound good. This record does, though, use a lot of things that are now seemingly common in the scene today, such as the background piano and violin pieces, and a style of guitar playing that some refer to as “djent.” This isn’t a big problem, these things are common for a reason, and they sound good in this album, but sometimes you just want something new, y’know?
All things aside, Beyond the Shore really are a breath of fresh air on the genre and are a great addition to the Metal Blade roster.
“Ghostwatcher” released on the second of April and is available now on iTunes and Indiemerch, definitely pick it up and support these guys!
Rating: 9.0 / 10
For Fans Of: Sylar, With Life In Mind, Feed Her to the Sharks