Ghost Brigade: Isolation Songs

Suppose late-era In Flames were to take up the post-metal mantle of Neurosis or Isis. Isolation Songs wouldn’t be the perfect approximation, but the almost over-the-top ballad-esque passages mixed with surprisingly crushing riffs and aggressive vocals makes Ghost Brigade an interesting case.

In that posture, it’s thinking man’s metal with more of a pop sensibility than any of their breed, or it’s pop metal better thought out than 99 percent of its competetion. It’s a hard thing to put your finger on, because much of Isolation Songs feels pop-contrained, particularly on lighter songs like “My Heart Is A Tomb” which, while elegant, feel slightly robbed.

But tracks like “Lost In The Loop” and “Birth” feature fantastically crushing main riffs, and the energy of album opener “Suffocation” showcase Ghost Brigade’s songwriting prowess and wisely produced (except for the damn clean vocal!) arrangements. Isolation Songs is an interesting release in the current metal landscape, but snobbier metal fans may snub the band based on their more delicate side. To each his own.

In A Word: Slippery