Ghost Brigade - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us (2011)
(atmospheric sludge metal / progressive metal)
Closed curtains refuse to let the daylight penetrate through, the slight beams of light wander lost somewhere in the gray haze of the autumn. The room behind the curtains is as dark and solemn as the man sitting inside it. The floor filled with debris, the shelves bending under the weight of drained bottles of something stronger than spring water. The only thing visible on the face of the crestfallen man are a stubble replete enough to be called a beard and the clean lines carving a canyon down from his eyes - the path of tears that have dried ages ago. He has no one but the black rain bludgeoning its droplets against the only window in the room.
I think that when a band manages to create such vivid imagery into your mind during one monumental album, you can't help but to lay high expectations on what will follow. Isolations Songs is single-handedly emotionally the most raw, sullen creation I have heard up to date in genre of metal. Until Fear No Longer Defines Us, the third full-length album from the Finnish quintet, is not a lonesome man on the verge of a silent suicide. No, it is the repentance and penitence of a man on his knees, waiting for the sunlight to burst into his heart.
Sitting on my floor, curtains closed, rain quietly hammering against my window and only a small table lamp illuminating my room. In The Woods fell as silently on my shoulders as the dusk falls over daylight with the acoustic wonders of music forming their own residence inside my head. The expectant feeling rose throughout the whole song and the wait for the burst of agony felt like three eternities woven into each other but when Clawmaster's first lines of
Wading in mud
Wading in mud
bellowed belligerently out of my speakers, I was as home as a Finnish man could be.
There is clear progress from the previous work. The guitars have partly shifted from serrated soulreaping to mildly melodical power-risers. Traces Of Liberty and Divine Act Of Lunacy demonstrate the aforementioned progress when their choruses take their toll of the listener's unconsciousness.
Unline most metal bands, I find Ghost Brigade to excel in the lyrical manner as well. The despondent vocal compositions of Ikonen freeze your ears and fortify the effect the simplified, yet cunningly metaphorical lyrics create. Breakwater, the towering title-track-intention, verbally depicts a sinking man grasping for his last breathes of air - a refusal to fall down from his knees, a struggle to get back up on his feet.
As generic of Ghost Brigade tracks as Call Of Decay and Torn may seem, they are still buried deeper in darkness and carved further into the musical flesh than the majority of the songs in the whole genre. With Soulcarvers ending the album in a feeling of the want of raising your hand towards the sky in a formation of potential throes of perdition, one is left staring blankly forward in admiration.
.drifting in air, above the droning sounds.