Ghost Brigade - IV - One With the Storm
Season Of Mist
Progressive Metal, Atmospheric Doom
10 songs (1:06:08)
Release year: 2014
Ghost Brigade, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Following up three very good albums in a genre where it's quite hard to make a name for yourself is tough. Yet Finnish six-piece Ghost Brigade have been impressing me since their 2007 début Guided by Fire, and although latest opus IV – One With the Storm suggests a bit of Led Zeppelinian arrogance from its title, the contents show that the band continue to make excellent music. Playing a sort of melodic death-infused atmospheric doom metal that's equal parts Katatonia, Insomnium, and Paradise Lost but distant enough from both bands to stand alone, Ghost Brigade have a natural melancholy to their sound that tints all facets of the music in a gothic gloom. Opener Wretched Blues may have strident, almost Meshuggah-influenced riffing, for example, but the subtle backing keyboard and build into a powerful, snarled chorus drag it down into misery, a beautiful lead guitar rising from the murk towards the end to lift the track into more hopeful terrain.

Although the power of their songcraft is one of Ghost Brigade's biggest strengths, it's this atmospheric touch that truly makes their music special. This isn't a formula that's easy to excel at, but Ghost Brigade make it sound easy. Take Departures, with its suitably ghostly intro that opens into a Dark Tranquillity-esque metal stomp, before leading into a gothic metal verse and chorus – thanks especially to Manne Ikonen's heartfelt vocals, it's a brilliant song, and the seamless interlocking of the backing musicians is near-perfect. And the variety between songs, which can lean more towards prog metal a la Aurora or atmospheric rock like Disembodied Voices, is impressive and enough to keep you hooked where other bands with a gothic hint can sometimes feel a bit repetitive.

Songs always seem both catchy and moving, even when stretched to ten minutes as with the ten-minute mid-piece Electra Complex, and seem to get better with every listen. This is especially true on the second half of the album, starting with the Tool-tinged Stones and Pillars and the melodic death heaviness of Anchored. By the time you've reached the end of the album (special editions of which have a couple of remixed tracks from keyboardist Joni Vanhanen that are surprisingly good) it's hard to pick out any sub-par moments. An utterly solid album; those who have followed the band thus far will be delighted with One With the Storm, although it is another step along the road rather than anything truly different from Until Fear No Longer Defines Us et al. Yet as you've probably guessed from my enthusiasm, this is a pretty damn good road to be walking along, and Ghost Brigade are an excellent band to be walking with.

Killing Songs :
All, especially Departures, Aurora, Electra Complex, Stones and Pillars, The Knife

Goat quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Ghost Brigade that we have reviewed:
Ghost Brigade - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us reviewed by Jaime and quoted 91 / 100
Ghost Brigade - Isolation Songs reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Ghost Brigade - Guided By Fire reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
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