When in a band, it is important (and healthy) to explore things that are out of your comfort zone. These new influences can end up unlocking elements in your sound, your image and your overall growth that you may not have realized were possible. Oftentimes, this can result in a completely new version of “your” sound, that fits who you are and what you stand for even better than you expected. For InGhosts, I fully believe that the creation of their new album, Erase//Rewrite was built on these principles. While the members of the band are very versed in their craft, their debut Still Breathing, while conveying important themes and breathtaking soundscapes, still felt lacking in terms of delivery. So how does Erase//Rewrite stack up? Read on to find out!
Strings are plucked to create a high-pitched, echoed and ambient sound as opening track, “Vivre” kicks in. Glitched effects reveal distorted guitar tones and heavy drum beats, flowing perfectly into “Gravity.” Higher ranged vocal melodies overtake the listener, eerily reminiscent of the heyday of bands like Saosin, Chiodos and even The Venetia Fair. The difference between these bands is that InGhosts explodes in their delivery, adding djent elements as well as scattered electronics throughout their music. For the average listener, it may take a couple of passes to peel back these hidden elements but rest assured, they are there. The song takes it’s dramatic moments where powerful, layered screams explode over the ambience of the track.
As is often realized with this type of music, there is also a much more deep, emotional side to the album. That is most prevalent in the track “Kyra” which, quite honestly, is my favorite track on the album. Acoustic guitars give way to lower ranged, breathy vocal takes that leave everything on the table, emotionally. The chorus soars, with beautiful symphonic elements taking over in the second chorus and beyond. The track has an incredible, climactic part in the bridge that builds the listener up and then breaks into an angelic piano part. Towards the end of this track, the vocals get a bit more broken and begin to show more fury, reminiscent of the more angst-driven tracks from bands like Nothing More.
If I were to pick a track to represent this album, as a whole, it would be “Sunn.” In particular, this is the best capture of the band’s energy in terms of sound and delivery. Not only are the higher-pitched, breathy and emotional vocal styles here, the screams come in when you least expect them. Another thing worth noting is the night-and-day difference between Denton and guest vocalist, Rory Rodriguez (Dayseeker), and how well they compliment one another. There are elements of this track that were clearly written with Rory in mind, as he crushes his delivery just as he would his own band’s music. My favorite part about this track, though, is that there are parts where Denton builds and breaks his vocal takes, and it shows just how he has honed his craft to a fine point. This track doesn’t necessarily explore the heavier, more distorted guitar tones that encompass most of the album but the ambience that it creates is second to none.
The album closes with an untitled track that includes spoken-word parts over building vocal passages that create a soundscape like you may hear in a cinematic on a video game. Suddenly, the rest of the band comes in, full-speed and it takes a turn into something even more epic. I think the addition of the spoken-word parts, even underlying the instrumentals, makes this track the most impactful way to end the album.
In the end, I feel that InGhosts were seeking a way to redefine their sound and ensure that their messages were conveyed clearly and proudly. A new identity was found with these songs, in addition to simply creating them and their ability to be a bit more explorative with their deliveries took it to a whole new level. Erase//Rewrite might be one of the most important and impactful albums of 2019, in addition to being one of the most well-rounded albums I’ve heard in the genre, in recent years. Support independent music and pick up your copy, using the links below, today!
Tyrus Denton – Vocals
Mike Kenway – Guitar/Vocals
Jacob Ortiz – Bass
Mel Torres – Drums