The Amity Affliction’s Best Album Yet Is on the Way

The Amity Affliction is universally regarded as one of the definitive metalcore bands of the last decade. Albums like Chasing Ghosts (2012), Let The Ocean Take Me (2014), and This Could Be Heartbreak (2016) are crowning achievements of what the genre of heavy music is capable of. They are more than just good albums – they paved the way for other bands. However, their last two records, 2018’s Misery and 2020’s Everyone Loves You…Once You Leave Them made fans a little confused. The singles were always strong, but once the full record was out, we’d find it to be frustratingly dull. Nothing on the last two albums could live up to the lead singles, leading us to question this band’s future. We are thrilled to report their new album, Not Without My Ghosts, is a return to form and the best release the band has put out in seven years (or, about to be out, as it drops officially two weeks from today).

On May 12, you will be able to hear what The Amity Affliction finally brings back: their massive anthemic choruses. Part of what makes this band so incredible is their ability to slide an almost danceable chorus into an otherwise brutally heavy song. Tracks like “It’s Hell Down Here,” “The Big Sleep,” and “God Voice” demonstrate this perfectly. The second the chorus hits it feels like you are listening to it blaring out of a stadium speaker, and every track feels like a sing-along. 

Even the darker tracks are deeply memorable – there never feels like an obligatory breakdown or harsh vocal on the album just to have it. All the screams on these heavier-leaning songs feel earned and as if they’re working to push the album forward. Then when the instrumental breakdowns come, they serve a purpose to enrich the overall soundscape of the album. (The slightest piano notes and synths that are layered throughout add spice to the album, too, but they never come to the forefront.) “Death” and the Setting Sun” deserve special praise for being the most punishing and raw release from the band in over a decade. The entire song lends itself to the build-and-break moments, which feels a destructive force of nature.  

The features on this album also deserve to be noted. Not Without My Ghosts features Andrew Neufeld from Comeback Kid, Landon Tewers from The Plot In You, rapper Louie Knuxx, and alternative singer Phem. Every single one of these guest vocalists add a distinct element to each song. It also helps keep the experience unique and makes every re-listen feel fresh. The special guests never take the spotlight either, but rather add slight nuances to every song they’re on. When a new voice appears, creeping in around the original stylings of the band and its members, it’s welcomed and exciting. 

Not Without My Ghosts deals with loss. As with any album from The Amity Affliction, the lyrics are (of course) very dark and typically deal with depression and emptiness. However, this record discusses such themes with a new light and perspective. The lyrics are profound and still as grounded as they were in 2014 with Let The Ocean Take Me. No matter what traumatic experience the listener has gone through between then and now, they can relate to the subject matter of this record. We all have ghosts in our everyday lives, bad and good, and The Amity Affliction displays that flawlessly. It’s true and it’s eerie – like the cover art – but not something to always be afraid of.

This album feels like the band understood what made them great in the first place. They brought back the big choruses. The heavy moments felt purposeful and exciting again. All of the songwriting was emotional and, above all, unforgettable. This is the band that defined metal core for a reason. Listening to this 10-track album felt like I was venturing into an audible depiction of sorrow and loneliness that I couldn’t take my eyes away from, and with that, The Amity Affliction have delivered one of their most jaw dropping albums yet.