Sound — 10
I am Ghost has always had a unique sound from the beginning. In "We Are Always Searching," their EP released in 2005, they definitely had a sound like no other. In "Lovers' Requiem," they reached the top in goth and epicore. Now in "Those We Leave Behind," the most underrated CD of 2008, they finally jumped into the fiery pit and revealed a darker, newer side to the band. They did what they wanted to do, what they loved, and not what everybody else wanted. They still have their catchy choruses and original guitar riffs, and Steve's dark and tragic lyrics and stories about love and loss and murder. The album starts off with the 45 second intro called "We Dance With Monsters," read by Allison Murphy. It's a dark, fantastical intro, that leads into the best song on the album, "Don't Wake Up," which starts with an original I am Ghost riff, then shreds on to the verse and the truly spectacular chorus. Then comes the title track, "Those We Leave Behind," which starts off with a ripping, shredding verse and an extremely catchy chorus. That moves on to "Buried Way Too Shallow," which starts off with an arpeggiated riff that is also extremely catchy to a punk-pop sounding chorus. "Bone Garden," a highlighted track, then starts with the catchiest chorus you could ever dream of. Then "Saddest Story Never Told" begins, which almost makes you jump after the silence after Bone Garden ends. Saddest Story Never Told is also the most emotional song on the album. "Smile Of A Jesus Freak" starts with a sick bass intro, and then a huge scream by Steve. "So, I Guess This Is Goodbye" is another highlighted track, and begins with an acoustic riff, then an extremely original electric riff. "Interlude: Remember This Face, Baby" gave me the chills with the lyrics and the dark piano in the background. Then that explodes into "Burn the Bodies To The Ground," another original I am Ghost song. Then that jumps into the bouncy and fun "Rock N' Roll High School Murder," a sound not tried before by I am Ghost. Then that delves on into the intense ballad, "Make Me Believe This Is Real," which has an amazing, almost awkwardly distorted guitar intro. Then another bouncy track... "They Always Come Back." Then, the last track, "Set Me Free," one of my favorites, and after it ends, it makes you thirst for more... much more... With the new lineup, and the absence of the violin used in their EP and "Lovers' Requiem," they were able to write heavier, more metallic music. Steve said that lyrically, this is the darkest album he's ever written, but musically, it's the most beautiful music they've ever written. And he's correct.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics have certainly gotten darker. In Bone Garden: "I am the man they couldn't hang... a forced-fed son of romance, dressed in hooks who kissed your head, killed 12 dead baby. I am an addict-burning winter, a closed-door annihilator, motherfucker burned who was married in your bone garden." In Smile Of A Jesus Freak: "So sit around and watch me burn, watch me burn, motherfucker," and "She said I'd be so pretty dead." And much more that will certainly take you by surprise. Except... one flaw. Steve almost way overuses the word "kiss." I know his music is about love and loss, but a little more variety would be even better.
Overall Impression — 10
I am Ghost's music is original, beautiful, and tragic filled with brooding passion and brutal musical talent. "Those We Leave Behind" is filled with music that you will never forget, and it will leave you thirsting for more.