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Kolme - 63%

OzzyApu, May 9th, 2013

What the hell was Saukkonen thinking when he created “Ghost Town”? He had great songs like “Fade Away” and “…Nowhere” presenting the band’s showmanship in monolithic riffing, harmonic leads, and the serenity of the atmosphere. It’s such a stark contrast with the horseshit that goes on in “Ghost Town,” with its dishonorable use of “motherfuckers!”, “fuck shit up!”, and that godawful rapping that goes on in the middle. Oh yeah, and the song even starts off with a pretty cool harmony! Seriously, wasn’t there anyone to filter that bullshit from getting through? That’s one problem overall here that hit the previous album badly. It turns an otherwise potentially cool album into one that’s half-realized a lot of the time.

The rest of this album shows the band as they would be for the rest of their career. Saukkonen mostly does the one-man thing here, handling everything from his fluffy harsh vocals to the bustling drumming. It’s backed by production clearer and crisper than before, providing less of that atmospheric, gothic backdrop and more emphasis toward the power behind the guitars. Again, this would be the defining trait of the band with songs like the eclectic “Disappear” and “Fade Away” showing the slant of downcast riffs and newfound energy. The optimist in me sees this as Juho Räihä’s talent rubbing off on Saukkonen, but many of the melodies here are Saukkonen’s as they’d see variations on later albums. Take “Fade Away” and the obvious Gothenburg influences driving the song until Eikind’s enigmatic chorus elevates it. It’s character, memorability, and a spiritual-like peak brought about by the astonishing solo thereafter.

To further the optimist point of view in me, I’d even like to call this album great. However, it isn’t, with many songs spiraling into mediocrity as they’re unable to lift themselves out of their own compositional rut. I mean what The Ghost is able to accomplish is playing like Dark Tranquillity or Insomnium, but with some swag to it that makes it catchy on one end and loyally tedious on another. Eikind’s vocals get overused later on in poor ways, but here they’re applied tactfully in songs like “Scar” to enhance the atmosphere. Nonetheless, it’s still steady riffs crunching their way to the end half the time. Eikind’s vocals are higher and less fluent than Willman’s on the previous two albums, and I can’t help but feel like their inclusion butchers the avalanche of riffs, harmonies, and keys like on “Enemy,” “Angel’s Tombstone,” and “Black Dawn”. It would really bring out the album’s vastness if his cleans weren’t there to make the songs poppier – just let the riffs keep sounding immense!

It’s hard to pinpoint whether the bad things about this album are actually good. I want to like The Ghost but it feels too unrealized. “Ghost Town” just annoys the shit out of me, but the rest of this isn’t bad music. It’s got semi-great production (those snares are tin blocks) and some damn good songs like “Fade Away,” but the flow dips and ideas don’t seem like they were properly thought out. Saukkonen’s instrumentation is quite solid overall, but his mindset would have done well to focus on how he wanted to form his compositions around gripping hooks.

Mediocre - 63%

GuntherTheUndying, August 16th, 2006

Working as a musician isn't an easy thing to do.Some bands who have started out strong in their debut or sophomore album have failed to continue this type of perfection, and I fear the same for Before The Dawn. The first two Before The Dawn albums were powerful and moving albums, but "The Ghost" tells a different story. "The Ghost" isn't bad, but it does show some signs of a band that could soon crash and burn.

The riffs on "The Ghost" usually lean toward a strong melodic sound. The riffs are always mixed with other influences along with the melody. The songs "Disappear" and "Stormbringer" have a melodic feel to them but also dab into a small amount of thrash. On the other side of the riff spectrum, "Repentance" mixes a healthy amount of atmosphere along side the melody. This riff variation helps make "The Ghost" seem better, but there is a big problem with repetitiveness. Every song on "The Ghost" has the same riff repeating over and over again. Not only do these riffs replay again and again, but they all sound the same. Every riff on this album is only a few notes apart from the other riffs, which makes "The Ghost" get old fast.

Singer Tuomas Saukkonen has quite a fitting voice for "The Ghost." His voice sounds very similar to many melodic death/Gothenburg singers such as Dark Tranquillity singer Mikael Stanne and other vocalists of this nature. Tuomas also uses his singing voice pretty well. During "DIsappear" and "Black Dawn," Tuomas's lighter voice comes in and makes these songs seem more powerful. The only truly bad part of this album is on "Ghost Town." This fecal flotation of a song contains a "Nu Metal-ish" amount of profanity and rapping. Tuomas says stupid things while rapping like "Represent" and "What Up Mother Fuckers" among other silly things. "Ghost Town" also has an actual rapper on the track that made me shake my head in disgrace. There are somethings you just don't touch when playing metal, and rap is one of them.

"The Ghost" is a mediocre album overall. The previous Before The Dawn albums are better then this, but this is still ok. Stick to the older material before checking this one out.

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