The Ghost Inside – Searching for Solace (Epitaph)

Monday, 29th April 2024
Rating: 9/10

Now four years removed from their self-titled album, The Ghost Inside return while looking ahead to expand their sonic palate. Searching for Solace continues the band’s energetic and abrasive approach to metalcore, but also sees them softening some of the edges at times, which some may cry foul about initially (as seen by some reactions to a few singles). But with Searching for Solace officially released and hearing the album as a whole, it’s less jarring than some naysayers may have thought, showcasing the band continuing to flex some brutal muscles while opening up in new directions that should allow them to have a wider audience.

“Going Under” opens the album in such a way that shows that the band isn’t willing to sit still and do the same thing on repeat, but retains the heavy edge at the same time. A soaring, catchy chorus and a few somber moments juxtapose some heavier grooves and thundering drums. Later along, “Secret” positions itself as one of the catchiest cuts on the album, but again leverages some impressive grooves alongside it’s more melodic moments – offering a catchy sing-a-long while giving fans plenty to headbang over. It’s “Cityscapes” that arguably offers the greatest shift in the band’s sound, focusing on more on some almost atmospheric hookiness to the cut and melancholic tinge that gives it a more unique feel that the tracks that surround it. The final song, “Breathless” offers quite a bit of bang to it, while also ending on a hopeful moment that really shines as the finale – urging the listener to quickly hit play and run through the album again.

For those seeking some ragers, there’s no reason to feel slighted. Early cut “Death Grip” brings plenty of hardcore stomp and breakdown energy to the table, and “Light Years” contains some riffs that are groovy enough to roll away on their own. “Split” all but rumbles with fury, providing monstrous riffs that initiate involuntary headbanging and some general movement as it crawls along. The album’s back end also delivers with some rather intense breakdowns and visceral energy, courtesy of “Wrath” and “Reckoning,” which effectively pummel in the band’s greatest traditions. The former being an absolute steamroller that’s sure to cause plenty of chaos in the live setting.

With a solid variety and expansive sound that never feels too far removed from what the band has always been good at, Searching for Solace holds up to the expectation of its predecessors. The Ghost Inside manage to push themselves further into new musical territory without losing sight of who they are, effectively bridging their frenetic sound with more melodic territory than ever. It’s full of both plenty of punch, and heart.

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