REVIEW: Beyond The Shore – Ghostwatcher

Beyond The Shore 2013

Artist: Beyond The Shore
Album: Ghostwatcher
Genre: Metalcore/Post-Hardcore
Label: Metal Blade Records

So, Metal Blade, I think you messed up on this one.

For a label that’s picked out, released, and promoted some of the best bands in heavy music since the early 80s, I’m floored at how uninspired this record has made me. I’ve given Beyond The Shore’s full length debut, Ghostwatcher, multiple listens, and every single time I would come to realize and reflect on one thing: “This album does absolutely nothing for me.”

Pulling different aspects from genres like metalcore, post-hardcore, and deathcore with electronic and metal elements has been done one too many times for the last several years. You can only use the same song structures and dynamics for so long before they become bland and forgettable.

Things start off with “Dividers,” a song where Andrew Loucks, the band’s single vocalist bellows out his positive-minded and hopeful lyrics over breakdowns and delay-smothered guitar lines. It isn’t until “Half Lived” that Loucks showcases his ability to actually carry his styles of screaming and a singing range that’s capable of impressing.

“Transitions” sees its fair share of dynamics and changes, instrumentally. But with some uninspired vocal segments, including a couple spots of gang vocals and lines including “so cross your heart and hope to fly” and the all-but-unique, grunted out “get on your knees,” things could’ve been much better.

Some of the redeeming factors of the record shouldn’t even be considered things to look for in a metalcore album. The interludes and production tricks in tracks like “Glass Houses,” the album’s instrumental track, “Milestone,” and “Breathe On Ice,” which has this interesting bouncing rhythm and rotary speaker effects, all keep things somewhat intriguing from a creative perspective.

Maybe I’m being a little too hard on the band for what they’ve done. There is enough musicianship in it to keep gear-heads interested, the lyrics (while they aren’t the worst in the world) are worth saying, and enough aggressiveness to keep kids moving at shows, but the main problem in my book is what I would like to label as “extreme unoriginality.” All that’s left is an album that doesn’t hold a candle to the material put out by local-level bands on a shoestring budget.

Rating: 5/10
Reviewed by: Adrian Garza (Twitter)

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