After two full-length albums of no-nonsense hardcore, Boston’s Great American Ghost have widened their scope to create their third LP, ‘Power Through Terror’.
Not only does ‘Power Through Terror’ see the quartet broaden their dynamic range and influences, the record also sees the group enlist Will Putney to handle production duties, to harness their harsh and sadistic blend of thrash metal and raw fury into a potent barrage of hardcore.
Taking the conventional route from the start, ‘Rat King’ is a straight-forward hardcore introduction track with a djent inspired twist. That being said, Ethan Harrison‘s commanding and bleak yet melodic coda sets the tone for the record.
Picking up the pace with ‘Prison Of Hate’, guitarist Niko Gasparrini veers between neck-snapping chugs and lunging grooves that compliment Harrison‘s furious screams. With a melodic and bellowing chorus at their disposal, the track rolls through slam influences with a fevered urgency.
Whilst lead single ‘Altar Of Snakes’ showcases the biting groove and melancholic harmonies of the record, the title-track leans on the nihilistic fury that has always been the undercurrent of Great American Ghost. Employing sludge, melodic death metal, and post-hardcode techniques, the track not only shows how far the group have come technically, but also creates a fresh take on their aggressive tendencies.
After the bludgeoning and unrelenting ‘Rivers Of Blood’, ‘Socialized Animals’ injects a nu-metal bounce to proceedings. Complete with twisting melodies, chant along lyrics, and a swirling guitar solo, it drags the second half of the record past its sludge and slam influences towards unknown territories.
Continuing their descent into the unknown, ‘Black Winter’ takes the quintet into a mid-paced stomp through rolling grooves, pinch harmonics, and sneaking melodies. Held together with gang vocals and swirling breakdowns, the track sits naturally alongside the skittish and swinging ‘Scorched Earth’.
Ending on the expansive and devastating ‘No More’, the group become fully realised in their vision. From beaten guitars fighting against impassioned screams to intimate and melodic choruses, the track branches out from the straight-forward raw hardcore that Great American Ghost have been known for.
By taking a more textured approach to their sound and employing a strong groove for their foundation, ‘Power Through Terror’ emerges as a natural evolution for the group. With the fury of the previous records now refined, the viscous energy propels the melodic bounce of Great American Ghost to wider avenues.