The Boston, metallic hardcore crew Great American Ghost sound colossally pissed off on their thrilling new album Power Through Terror, which dropped via eOne Heavy on February 14. The Valentine’s Day drop date feels darkly ironic considering the album’s closing song “No More” features vocalist Ethan Harrison furiously belting out that “love was never there!”
Startlingly enough, although that line and the physically massive-feeling hardcore riffs methodically surging behind it provide enough of a shock all on their own, that segment actually feels like one of the more emotionally subdued portions of the record.
Throughout the fierce, opening songs and beyond, Harrison, who delivers his lyrics with a catchily dynamic but still darkly brutal yell, bluntly points listeners to the fact that we’re all heading towards death. The continuous frenzy coursing through the music on this record makes the listening experience feel at least a bit like Harrison somehow reaching out of the screen and physically pushing listeners to look at these grim realities. (The band’s shows no doubt fulfill that feeling.)
These songs hinge on relentless, hardcore brutality. Riffs and breakdowns pile up and build monumental feelings of tension to the point where there’s nowhere to go but along for the ride. Seriously—there’s so much focused energy you might try and start a circle pit wherever you happen to be listening, so watch out.
If you ever wanted to let loose and experience jumping past the misery and landing headfirst in mayhem, Power Through Terror is the album for you.
Although Great American Ghost are always gloriously direct and to the point, they’re never boring. Their songs feel subtly but surely richly textured; the actual riffs and rhythms often jump around with an epic, progressive flair, like the band have buried music from a band like Gojira under meaty hardcore tones and feedback. The intricacies don’t ever linger around to provide a space for any kind of soft and quiet contemplation. Nope—in practice, they just add to the adrenaline-soaked chaos because the overall, fierce, hardcore energy never lets up.
Ultimately, Power Through Terror sports a caustic edge that lets it really land with a head-spinning thrill. The songs don’t feel so much about the lyrics’ only surface-level misery, per se, although there’s plenty of it to go around. (At one point, Harrison belts out that he watched “them drown in rivers of blood.”) Rather, they seem to quite expertly pack the thrill of letting go.