CD Reviews

The Amity Affliction - 'Chasing Ghosts' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 14, 2013    
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Third album by this Aussie four-piece.

This is the third album by this Aussie four-piece and they bear similarities to early Atreyu who are much heavier in places but can also surprise (check out ‘Lead Sails (And A Paper Anchor) Song’ or ‘No One Cares’ for example) and also fellow Post Hardcore/Screamo band Alexisonfire but are more melodic and accessible than their Canadian associates. Killswitch Engage are another reference point but K.E. are heavier and far more technical than The Amity Affliction who got their name following a close friend’s car accident at just 17 years of age (I can totally relate to that unfortunately). ‘Amity’ represents their friendship and ‘Affliction’ their struggle to deal with the aftermath.

Former guitarist but now bassist and ‘clean’ singer Ahren Stringer sounds very close to Fall Out boy vocalist Patrick Stump (though he probably won’t thank me for it!) and not too dissimilar to All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth with a similarity in the melodic undercurrent of their bands. Main vocalist and lyricist Joel Birch though is very much the angst ridden driving force with the album centred on death in general and suicide in particular as evidenced on the opening title track as Birch wrote it as a narrative based wholly around someone who has committed suicide and realises there is no heaven or hell on the other side. With heavy double bass drumming by Ryan Burt and Birch’s screamo vocals underpinned by the melodic elements and Stringer’s clean vocals it’s a statement of intent.

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‘Open Letter’ is an empowering rallying cry from the band to their fans containing the beautifully sung melodic lines ‘I’m not searching the sky, for a reason to live, coz I found beauty right here, and the passion to give, so let me give you my heart, let me give you my tears, let me give you my life, when I give you my fears’. Contained among all the heavy elements it has more power and resonance as a result. Who said Aussies were uncivilised? Elsewhere ‘Greens Avenue’ has a melodic intro that gives way to screamo vocals and great drum patterns with good chord progressions from guitarist Troy Brady although second guitarist Imran Siddiqi did play on the album before leaving the band. Similarly, since keyboardist Trad Nathan left last year they haven’t officially replaced him yet despite keyboard elements embellishing the sound such as on the melodic and heavy ‘I Heart H.C.’ which is about religion saying there is no afterlife or heaven so don’t kill yourself thinking there’s something better. ‘Flowerbomb’ has a nice melodic chorus with terrific drumming and driving riffs whilst ‘Pabst Blue Ribbon On Ice’ takes its name from a Lana Del Ray song (and in turn from the Milwaukee beer company)

Clearly this will not be to everyone’s taste but the more open-minded Melodic Metal fans may find something to like – and it’s certainly good for getting rid of any unwanted angst!

Carl Buxton

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