June 9th, 2010
Release Date: October 7th, 2008
With two Christian band members leaving before the recording of the record, surely California’s gothic punk group I Am Ghost should be open to writing much darker and more sinister material to suit fit their genre path. Surely enough, a more gothic feel is present on ‘Those We Leave Behind’ than there was on their debut ‘Lovers’ Requiem’, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the band have improved since then, or even gotten worse.
Basically, to explain it as simple as possible, there’s very little difference aside from the darker undertone present within the lyrics and music. There’s nothing wrong with staying in safe territory at all once you’ve got into a position like I Am Ghost have managed, but is always important that a band progresses, adapts, or even just experiments with each continuing record. Despite the lack of change however, ‘Those We Leave Behind’ shows a band that’s passionate and knows what they’re doing when writing a record. They know who they are, and what they sound like, so the lack of change has without a shadow of a doubt pushed them forwards on the one-way musical scope they’ve set out for themselves, resulting in not brilliant, but fairly adequate gothic punk/post-hardcore record to call their own. The melodic singing and violent screaming duo battalion present on the likes of ‘Don’t Wake Up’, ‘Smile Of A Jesus Freak’, and ‘Make Me Believe This Is Real’ will push all the right buttons for most post-hardcore fans out there. Another plus side with the work is the increasingly dark nature within the band’s lyrics, such as “But it was too late, the killer’s home / And knows you well, I assume” from ‘So, I Guess This Is Goodbye’ shedding the twisted lyrical nature Steven Juliano possesses.
It goes without saying that I Am Ghost are sticking to safe ground with this one, using the ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ ethic of doing things, and though it’s a sure way of pleasing their current fanbase, it’s not the best tactic when wanting to acquire others.
Written by Zach Redrup