The next jewel I’ve found during my incurssion into doom metal led me somehow to the border that separates rock from metal. That’s where Ghost Brigade and their album Isolation Songs (2009) are. The best word to describe this band that comes to my mind when I think about them is ‘post’. The defeated and depressing atmosphere they recreate speaks for itself. In this album, the band achieves a good balance between melancholic and quiet moments and other more aggressive and angry, keeping everytime that ‘post’ and modern touch that defines them, as well as alternating between clean vocals and growls.
Isolation Songs begins with Suffocate, a song with a beautiful and sad intro that evolves quickly into rage and aggressiveness with a heavy rhythm in the verses and lighter during the catchy chorus. Although it is a good song, I find it a bit too hard for the beginning of the album. The next track, My Heart is a Tomb, starts very smoothly with guitar picking and clean voices, in contrast to the chorus, again very aggressive as well as melodic. In this song it’s very interesting to appreciate the game between silences and melancholy alternated with storms of emotion. Into the Black Light follows the way stated by its predecessor and maintains the same line, more post-rock and depressive than the previous one.
From the next song, Lost in a Loop, the album takes a more experimental and original drift for me. We find ourselves in front of a song much heavier than the previous ones, with a style that falls much more in the side of metal, and featuring a decadent and hammering rhythm. Also the novelty here is the classical accompaniment introduced on the bridge. After that, 22:22 – Nihil is the only instrumental piece of the album. As usual, it is a ‘relaxing’ song with moments of delicacy and others of greater expression, besides presenting a consistent melody like all its predecessors. Architect of New Beginnings is another of the most metal songs, following the wake of Lost in a Loop. Rageful and with a fast rhythm is one of my favorites from the beginning. Birth is the only song over ten minutes long of the album. Long songs always get my attention, but in this case I wasn’t too impressed, as I found one of the most mediocre tracks in the album, even a bit boring because it didn’t contain too much variety.
After Birth, the album enters its final line with some of which, in my opinion, are the best songs. Concealed Revulsions have a totally insane melody, to the point one can listen to it again and again without getting tired, and it returns to the balance between depression and aggression. Secrets of the Earth has a hypnotic cadence and catchy melody as in the previous case, playing with the same elements and constrasts. A Storm Inside may be the most depressing song on the record. The verses are silent and minimalist with few ornaments. The melodies and vocals create a delicate atmosphere of defeat and dullness that remains until the end, where it all melts with a fury of expressiveness and growls.
In short, Isolation Songs by Ghost Brigade does not stand out especially for their technique or innovation when it comes to instruments, since the guitar, drums, bass, accompaniments, etc. they present have nothing special and stick to the standards. However, the interesting thing about this group is its ability to create incredible melodies and recreate oppressive and depressive atmospheres that do not become especially heavy to bear, as is the case of many doom bands, but in their hands they become beautiful and pleasant, as well as for its interesting fusion of post-rock and metal and its modern air.