By I Am Ghost
'Bone Garden' is the first single to be lifted from I Am Ghost's second album, 'Those We Leave Behind.' It sees them abandon the rock opera of their debut 'Lovers' Requiem' in favour of post-hardcore snarling, galloping drums and wailing guitars.
It all kicks off in deceptively low-key fashion, with demonic voices muttering over slow, brooding riffs, before I Am Ghost launch into a swaggering, metal-tinged aural assault that instantly marks 'Bone Garden' out as more than just a load of HIM-aping gothic posing.
'Bone Garden' blends post-hardcore screams with clean vocals. However, the balance is slightly off, with vocalist Steve Juliano's unusual and appealing singing voice squeezed out by the screamo vocals. Most of the lyrics are also lost on the listener - all the screams pretty much sound the same on this song - which is a shame considering I Am Ghost's poetic flair and the obsessive care they clearly put into penning their lyrics.
Cynicism suggests that crowbaring in as much screaming as possible is their way of making 'Bone Garden' dramatic. While it's a tactic that works, so much screaming occasionally feels forced within the context of the song, and there's the sneaking suspicion that there's a more mature, accomplished song lost in here somewhere.
But, just when it seems 'Bone Garden' is one strictly for the post-hardcore faithful, I Am Ghost drag it back into the accessible arena with a chorus of clean vocals that sweeps in and delivers all the hooks one song could ever need. It's this handful of soaring, catchy vocals that gives 'Bone Garden' cross-genre appeal.
'Bone Garden' takes all I Am Ghost's familiar goth-opera pomp, trims away the pretentiousness that saw them give previous songs crap titles like 'Crossing The River Styx,' adds lashings of post-hardcore and screamo, and comes up with a catchy, hard-rocking goth epic. This is I Am Ghost, but not as you know them and, while this new, goth-meets-hardcore-with-plenty-of-added-screams will cost them some of their existing fan base, it'll also earn them a whole load of new fans.
'Bone Garden' is the sound of a band reinvigorated, and that makes for exciting listening, whether you like the new I Am Ghost or not.