CD Reviews > I Am Ghost

I Am Ghost - Those We Leave Behind
Epitaph Records

I Am Ghost is best known for the band’s haunting and mesmerizing blend of musical styles, blurring the lines between Screamo, Goth, and Melodic Hardcore. This is very apparent on their second full-length album, Those We Leave Behind (Epitaph Records).

Hailing from Long Beach, CA, I Am Ghost are: frontman Steve Juliano, guitarist Timoteo Rosales III, bassist Ron Ficarro, and drummer Justin McCarthy.

“We took everything differently this time,” says Juliano. “We didn’t set out to impress anyone this time. We’ve learned so much from touring for two years straight. We saw the world and realized how important it was to connect with yourself. You need to play music you love. We didn’t care what anyone thought of this new record. We loved it and we thought, if we loved it then I’m sure everyone else might dig it. The entire band just let loose. We didn’t hold back and this time there weren’t people telling me what I could and could not say in my lyrics. I swelled more into my dreams and nightmares and wrote songs that meant a lot to me and the band.”

“Dance With The Monsters” pulls us into I Am Ghost’s macabre world with whispered narration over a creepy music box. The excellent “Don’t Wake Up” is as much pure infection as lovesickness. Tormented lyrics say Goodbye to a painful past in “Those We Left Behind”. The intense “Buried Way Too Shallow” feels like someone who needs to be rescued from being overwhelmed. The heavy “Bone Garden” is pure defiance.

The ballad “The Saddest Story Never Told” rips your very heart out of your ribcage. “Smile Of A Jesus Freak” unleashes rage against hypocrisy. There are female guest vocals in the tear-stained “So, I Guess This Is Goodbye”. Whispered demented vox, dark musicianship, and fantastic percussion punctuate the atmospheric “Interlude: Remember This Face Baby”. “Burn The Bodies To The Ground” is a merciless incinerating cremation.

The controversial “Rock N Roll High School Murder” takes a cold hard look at a deadly trend. The gorgeous “Make Me Believe That This Is Real” is romantic and dream-like. “Set Me Free” is a desperate cry from a heart still tied to one who has died, but needs to move on in the world of the living. This album immediately grabbed itself a slot in my personal Heavy Rotation Stack on first listen.

~Athena Schaffer